Man Made Object
GoGo Penguin

Image Credits: © Leonardo Schiavone

May 25, 2017
The GoGo Penguin English trio is considered one of the most interesting novelties in jazz world scene in the last two years, particularly after the publication for Blue Note, in 2016, of the Album “Man Made Object”. We interviewed the musicians for JazzEspresso.

Has the contract signed with Blue Note changed the way you record and compose?
Nick Blacka: No, we already had some tracks recorded during the period with Gondwana Records, and the recording studio as well as the technical staff were the same.
Chris Illingworth: One of the things that has changed is the way our music reaches the public, especially in Countries such as Japan, and I hope that in the US too there will be the same answer.
What do you think of technology contribution to your music, both as a composing tool and as a communication channel?
Rob Turner: There are a lot of artists that have become famous through portals such as MySpace or Youtube, but from this point of view we are more “traditionalists” and we do not spare a lot of time on social media and on that type of instruments. On the contrary, I think that, by starting from Stockhausen’s experience and by passing through the French music experience, technology still is a great potentiality for composition. You begin from an idea on your instrument, then you elaborate that idea on the computer, and then you take it again on the acoustic instrument.

You have recorded music for a ballet and also for a documentary: in this context music becomes a background for a visual experience. Which is the effect on the composing approach?
Nick Blacka: The final result changes a lot. Some tracks, for example, wouldn’t have the necessary strength on their own, if extrapolated from the images.

What is jazz today?
Chris Illingworth: Jazz has been subjected to such a transformation over the time that it’s very difficult to say what it is now: we think, for example, of artists that were contemporary such as Chet Baker and George Russell, that are both considered jazz artists even if their music is completely different. I think that, fundamentally, to divide artists in genres is exclusively useful in a record shop in order to be able to find what you’re looking for. 

How will your next album be?
Chris Illingworth: It’s a very demanding work but we are happy about how it is coming out. It’s challenging, because it’s quite different from what we have realised in the past, but at the same time we feel at ease with the new material because it is a step forward to becoming the band we have always wanted to be.

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