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Billy Childs: The Perfect Picture

Esther Berlanga-Ryan By

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AAJ: You have been playing the piano since you were six. What do you think you would be doing if you were not playing a piano?

BC: I can tell you about things that I like the idea of doing, but I don't know if I would have the intelligence or the discipline to pursue it. But I always liked science-like things, like mathematics ... and I also like poetry, I like Cummings. I'd be a writer. I would do that if I weren't a musician. Ultimately it is about what moves you. I like music, but music is not my whole existence. I like sports too.

AAJ: What's music to you, then?

BC: At its best, music is a more perfect representation of what life is. It's a description of life, an illustration of life. Like in a dream, you dream an alternate reality of what life is. That's what music is; it's an alternate reality of life. The craft that you learn, to me, is in service to try to describe things in life and things in your head.

Selected Discography

Billy Childs, Autumn: In Moving Pictures (ArtistShare, 2010)

Billy Childs, Lyric: Jazz- Chamber Music Vol. 1 (Lunacy Music, 2005)

Chris Botti, To Love Again: The Duets (Sony, 2005)

Billy Childs, Bedtime Stories: A Tribute to Herbie Hancock (32 Records, 2000)

Billy Childs/Buster Williams/Carl Allen, Skim Coat (Metropolitan, 1999)

Billy Childs, I've Known Rivers (Stretch, 1997)

Billy Childs, His April Touch (Windham Hill, 1997)

Billy Childs, Child Within (Shanachie, 1996)

Photo Credits
Pages 1-3: Courtesy of Billy Childs

Page 4: Courtesy of Rich Breen

Page 5: Tony Gieske


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