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Take Five With...

Take Five With Remy Le Boeuf

By Published: November 8, 2012
Did you know...
I am the voice of Leo, the main character from the PlayStation 2 game, "Zone of the Enders." I am also the voice of "The Brain" on several "Arthur" CD-Rom games, and "Donny" on the "Eliza and the Wild Thornberrys" CD- rom game. I am also an avid mushroom hunter and spent years as a member of the Santa Cruz Fungus Federation.

CDs you are listening to now:
Al Green, Lay It Down (Blue Note);

Andrew Bird, Oh! The Grandeur (Rykodisc;

Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi, Think Thoughts (Independent;

Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Sony Classical;

Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note).

Desert Island picks:
Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring;

Wayne Shorter, Beyond the Sound Barrier;

Prefuse 73, One Word Extinguisher;

Kurt Rosenwinkel, Heartcore;

Bela Bartok/Takács Quartet, Bartok String Quartets.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
The jazz tradition is branching out and fusing with other contemporary elements thus producing some beautiful results.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Music that is inspired by life communicates something to its listeners, whereas music inspired purely by its own tradition can be enjoyed only with knowledge of that tradition. I think that musicians need to put themselves into their music in order to engage today's audience. Merely spewing vocabulary of the past that was the original expression of another artist (no matter how lauded) is less personal-an easy thing to hide behind. All the different traditions we draw on are things to be incorporated certainly, but not things to hide behind. I believe that as long as jazz musicians are playing about something rather than just playing then the music will be well received and will have a secure future.

What is in the near future?
On November 15, 2012, in New York, I will premier A Dream: The Musical Imagination of Franz Kafka at the Jazz Gallery with Le Boeuf Brothers + Myth String Quartet. The piece focuses on the structural and narrative power of Kafka's short story, "A Dream," in order to evoke a blurry dreamscape of enchantment, inevitability, and one's struggle with self- perception. A Dream: The Musical Imagination of Franz Kafka has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America's 2011 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?
The giant mutant spiders with lasers that want to feast on my brains.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
"Return to You" by Pascal Le Boeuf.

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
Anything by Ace of Base.

By Day:
Composer and coffee drinker.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Mycologist or anthropology professor.

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