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Josh Ginsburg: Intent

By Published: October 17, 2013
JG: I think what helped me at first was that I didn't know the bass was so difficult. The reality is the double bass is an insanely hard instrument to master—or even just play simply on—but I think, at least for me, it was good to not know that. Because you automatically put up these walls of what you can and cannot do on the instrument. But one way or another you will eventually have to deal with the technical issues of the instrument.

Until recently, almost all my technique came from just transcribing and playing and just trying to figure out ways to play things I liked, and make it sound right to my ear. It was not very formal, which I think has both advantages and disadvantages. I recently went back to school and am studying with John Patitucci
John Patitucci
John Patitucci
, which has really been helpful with a more concrete technical approach.

GC: I didn't know you were are composer until recently. How long have you been composing and what inspires you?

JG: I've been writing for a long time, at least 10-12 years. I am very critical of my composing, so I haven't performed the music very often. But I have seen a growth in the writing over time. I'm really happy with most of the music I've been writing lately. Perhaps I've found my voice, so to speak. I'm inspired by a lot of jazz , obviously, but also other music; a lot of music from other countries and also some modern classical music. I feel like I'm finally at the point where I've absorbed enough of my influences where I can just write something and let the music go where it goes, and not try to force it to go somewhere. Or at least keep the forcing to a minimum.

GC: So what's happening with the new CD?

JG: The CD sounds great, you really played your butt off. It also features Eli Degibri
Eli Degibri
Eli Degibri
sax, tenor
on saxophones and Rudy Royston
Rudy Royston
Rudy Royston

on drums. Eli is really amazing, I love his sound, [and] it's big and dark but still modern sounding. Rudy is also amazing, aside from just being a total badass, he has a really wide dynamic range and shapes the music outside of what is written on the paper, which is so important for this music. I think we really got to some good places, musically speaking.

I still need to get it mixed, mastered, printed, artwork etc. It will be coming out in January on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records, which is a musician-run label that will arrange for worldwide distribution and publicity. Unlike most other labels, I will have full ownership of everything, which is nice.

GC: What is Kickstarter and what made you want to try it?

JG: Kickstarter is website that provides a way to crowd-fund artistic or other creative projects. You send an application for your project, and if they approve it, they give you a page where you present your idea and anyone can go on and pledge money to help make it happen.

Every pledge also receives a gift; I have tried to make sure all the gifts are really worthwile. A lot of the lower pledges are essentially just a pre-order of the CD, either a download or a signed CD. Then at higher levels I have different thing; I am going to write extended liner notes so the "non-expert" listener can really get a sense of what we are doing, I imagine it like the director's commentary on a DVD. Or, I also have an option where I will send out some favorite, but less well-known, songs to people through iTunes, along with something about the artists, or the songs, or just what I like about it.

I'm hoping to use the Kickstarter not just as a way to raise money, but as a way to let the audience inside to see how the creative process works. I think that's really important now that the record companies are pretty much out of the picture. And I think people are a little starved for understanding for that type of thing. There is so little information and so much misinformation for the general public about the arts and especially jazz.

GC: How can my readers donate to your project?

JG: Just go to [Kickstarter]. There is a video you can watch, which has some short music clips. And all the various gifts and pledge levels are listed. You do have to sign up for an Amazon account—if you don't already have one—to pledge, unfortunately there is no way around that.

The final date for the Kickstarter is October 9, and the funding is all-or- nothing. So everyone, please check it out!

GC: Any cool musical events coming up?

JG: The main thing I'd like people to know about is the CD release concerts—January 12 at the Jazz Gallery and January 14 at An Die Musik in Baltimore. Both are really great venues and we are going to be smoking!

GC: How has family life changed you music and or your musical goals?

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