BBC 6Music Radio Airplay on The Freakier Zone

So here’s something lovely – The Freakier Zone: Stuart Maconie’s late night sister show to The Freakzone, did a special on improvising duos on Saturday night. Stuart interviewed the oracle of all things interesting in music, Fiona Talkington, and she picked a handful of tracks to play and there are little interview segments with Food (Iain Ballamy and Thomas Stronen) and… me, talking about working with Daniel Berkman! 🙂

The show link is here - – have a listen to the whole hour, it’s fascinating.

My interview segment was recorded over the phone and as usual I was talking too fast, so here it is transcribed:

“…you have to trust each other, you have to have the belief that what the other person is going to bring to the music is better than what you would do on your own. Otherwise you’re just going to resent them. I mean, that would be terrible, improvising with someone who was messing your music up! So you have to have that feeling – and commit to that feeling – that what they’re going to bring is better than what you would do on your own… and then leave room for that.

“So there’s this sort of transaction that goes on where you leave space, allow someone to fill it and then they do the same, so it’s sort of like a game of consequences, where you’re folding over and each writing a sentence – he said, she said…

“and so one of us might start… I mean, sometimes we’ll just sit there and giggle at each other for a minute before we start because neither of us want to, and both of us want the other to lead us into something new.

“But you’re also trying not to tread the same ground again, you’re trying to take it in new directions, so you don’t end up performing ‘pieces’.  So it’s not that you can’t draw on the same language again, but you don’t want to actually try and copy an earlier piece, because that’s a very different skill set and a very different mental approach.”

It’s an inspired bit of radio programming, given what a massive influence on me both Bill Frisell and Arild Anderson have been, and what an influence Toumani Diabate has been on Daniel… Top work, Fiona!

The track played is an excerpt from Accidentally (On Purpose) – the title track of the 2nd show Daniel and I played together, and the first thing we released:

And given that the track that followed ours was by Ballaké Sissoko and Toumani Diabate, it’d be fitting to link here to Daniel’s amazing acoustic Kora work too.

…and you know you can buy all 10 of the shows for £10, right? 🙂

Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone and Freakier Zone are chock full of amazing and surprising music. Fiona’s regular musical home on the web is Late Junction on Radio 3 – I’ve discovered SO much amazing music through her over the years:

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