Take Five With Lisa Young
Joni Mitchell, Hejira (Asylum);
Norma Winstone, Somewhere Called Home (ECM);
Kiri Te Kanawa / Siegmund Nimsgern / Ambrosian Singers, Duruflé Requiem (CBS )the "Pie Jesu," by Kiri, is sublime!
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Phew! That question is way too big for me! I can say, that I'm part of an incredibly vibrant and creative improvisation stream here in Melbourne, Australia. There is a great blend of European and American influences and a wonderful, developing, distinctive Australian voice.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Anything that has the spirit of improvisation running through it.
What is in the near future?
Just being accepted into team zzZing (zzZing agency) is really exciting! Looking forward to Borneo Jazz Fest in May, and Cocos is likely going to India for the Hindu November Fest this year. I expect to have finished my PhD in konnakol by August this year. A composition of mine, "Other Plans,' was released on The Australian Voices' album on Warner Classics this year, and I have been invited to compose some more works for them, so I'm looking forward to that. They are incredible singers, they can sing anything you write; amazing!
What's your greatest fear when you perform?
I try to just be where I am, with the band, the sound, the audience and the concert space we are in, and breathe. The only fear I have is the sound check. Occasionally, if we aren't using our regular sound engineer, the sound check can be arduous and exhausting. The sound is pretty much everything; once that's good, you relax, and the playing and interacting follows. Heaven!
What song would you like played at your funeral?
"SpartacusLoveTheme," as performed by Toots Thielemans and Marc Johnson on Two By Four. Toots' soaring improvised lines are transporting, I'd like to sail away to the other side listening to them.
What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
I love to improvise kind of wordless African chants in the shower. It's a playful start to warming up my voice.
By day I am currently finishing my PhD in music performance. It's been such a gift, to be able to focus on the creation and reflection of The Eternal Pulse.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
world famous chai chef!p>
Courtesy of Lisa Young AU