Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Music Questionnaire No 7 -Graham Halliwell

Graham Halliwell is a saxophonist, whose work has recently been exploring
ideas of stillness and sparseness, to this end he has been supplementing
its normal sound by utilising it as a device for shaping feedback. This
has lead him to work with some of major names in the "reductionist" or
"lower case" school. He plays in the brilliant trio +minus with Bernhard
Gunter and Mark Wastell, and has recorded with Rhodri Davies and Steve
Roden. Other groups include VHF (with Simon H Fell and Simon Vincent).
His CD "Recorded Delivery" has been very well

Who are you?

Graham Halliwell, age 47, born Liverpool, August 1959, 6ft 1inch and
bald as a coot.

Where are you based?

North Norfolk, England

What instruments do you play?

Saxophone, feedback saxophone, electronics

What is your current or most recent project?

Current is duo recording with Tomas Korber (to be released in October),
most recent is duo recording with Lee Patterson (still being mastered).

Name a record that had a big effect on you in your youth-

Legend by Henry Cow followed closely by Faust Transparent (ecstatically
found second hand in Probe Records 1976)

What was the last record/CD you played-

"Stone Circles" by Bernhard Gunter - I have been commisioned to do a
remix - so I've been listening to it today.

List three records or CDs by artists other than yourself we should
all hear-

Bach's "Violin Partitas and Interludes" played by Rachael Podger.
Morton Feldman's "For Bunita Marcus" played by John Tilbury
Paul Desmond with Strings (Desmond Blue?).

Describe a live performance that had a big effect on you-

Judas Priest at Wigan Casino in 1976. It made my ears ring for days,
and I got off with a rather beatiful person called Gill who came from
Wigan and believe it or not wore clogs!! (well it was the 70's). The
love affair lasted for one week. I hated Judas Priest by the
way........far too loud and pompous (but what a week!!).

Your favourite live venue-

Liverpool Stadium in the mid 70's. The rock gigs I saw there in "my
youth" (Gong, Henry Cow, Faust, Hatfield, Van der Graaf etc) always
sounded great and the atmosphere was superb - bordering on the surreal.

What's the strangest place you've performed in/at?

The Club Room!! Come on Richard - you know it was strange!!

Tell me about your worst experience as a performer-

Every saxophonist's nightmare - you pick up your sax and are about to
play intense quiet music and the reed has broken and is unplayable since
you last put the instrument down. This happened to me at a VHF gig at
the Red Rose in the late '99. Never been back since.

Tell me about a great experience as a performer-

Performing a duo for live feedback sax with Rhodri Davies playing ebow
harp in Norwich 2003. Everything was perfect and beautiful for a whole
12 minutes. Creating sounds that the inventors of both instruments
would never have dreamed of (and probably wouldn't condone).

Is improvisation important to you?

Yes - but only as important as anything that can also be called

Name three heros or heroines-

Morton Feldman.
J.S. Bach.
Samuel Beckett.

What is your favourite city?


A couple of favourite books-

Ulysses by James Joyce and almost anything by P.G. Wodehouse.

A couple of favourite films-

Caravaggio by Derek Jarman and anything by Tarkovsky

What makes you laugh?

My wife! and P.G Wodehouse and absurdity in general

A favourite website?

I really don't have any...

Is there a pop song you feel sentimental about, and can you name

Al Green's "Simply Beautiful" from "I'm Still In Love With You" - listen
to the amazing hi-hat playing!! - oh, and Al's voice of course.......

Thanks Graham
the music questionnaires are an ongoing series

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