Take Five With Eric Normand
Eric Normand is a composer, improviser, bassist, instrument designer, singer-songwriter, and a record and concert producer. He defines himself as an inter-disciplinary musiciana free electron driven by its yearning for meetings. In his book, composition cannot exist without exchange since composition consists of setting up a territory that will facilitate improvisation.
His music has been programmed or performed in several festivals in Canada, Australia, and Europe. His music has been broadcasted by Radio-Canada, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, Radio- Grenouille, and several college radio stations.
Teachers and/or influences?
I had chance to work with Jean Derome, who led our big band. In the field of creative jazz, Jean Derome is one of my biggest influences along with Bill Dixon, Dauniz Lazro, Fred Frith, and Steve Lacy. Musicians like Isaiah Ceccarelli and Martin Tetreault, with whom I've played, are also sources of great inspiration for me. I am also influenced by noire influenced instrumentalist like Xavier Charles and Toshimaru Nakamura.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I heard John Coltrane and played in rock bands as a teenager.
Your sound and approach to music:
Freedom. I love to compose music where my band mates can surprise me at any time.
Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Playing during Halloween with a pianist who put a mask on. I realized that the pianist sat on the other side of the room and I didn't who was playing playscary.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Sur Un Fil, because it's really personal. It was recorded in one day without any preparation with great musicians like Jean Derome and Michel F Cote.
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Stellar Regions (Impulse, 1995), by John Coltrane.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Freeing the people.
Did you know...
I build instrument and stomp boxes. I'm also songwriter and play vintages banjos.
CDs you are listening to now:
Ratchet Orchestra, Hemlock (Drip Audio);
Robert Wyatt, Dondestan (Domino);
Michel F Cote, 63 Apparitions (&records);
Ron Carter, Where (OJC);
Lol Coxhill & Roger Turner , Success With Your Dog (Emanem);
Bill Dixon, Complete Re-Mastered Recordings (Black Saint).
Desert Island picks:
Everything from Bill Dixon and Steve Lacy.
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Better and worse than ever. There's a whole generation of incredible young musicians, but times are hard for medias and album sales.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
People listening and being curious for new adventurous music.
What is in the near future?
I'm now working on a duet LP with Jim Denley, who is fantastic. I'm also writing new material for my quintet and recording a French album of folksongs/protest songs.
What's your greatest fear when you perform?
What song would you like played at your funeral?
"Lonely Woman," by Ornette Coleman.
What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
"La Chat Qui Peche," by Robert Wyatt.
Art director for a free music festival.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Courtesy of Eric Normand