An espresso with…
Min-Yen Terry Hsieh

Image Credits: Min-Yen Terry Hsieh © Leonardo Schiavone

August 17, 2018

Life is much more tough compared to music!

We recently interviewed Min-Yen Terry Hsieh, a very active Taiwanese saxophonist and composer who boasts a large number of artistic collaborations.
> Ivano Rossato

What projects are you currently working on?

I have quite some different things going on at the same time, here are just few of them:
This is a Japanese Trio who is active in Taiwan and Japan, I participated in their newest album: Lines & Stains. We just finished an album release concert at the legendary Jazz club Pit Inn in Tokyo. In August we’ll have four concerts coming up in Taiwan!
A Hip-Hop group active in Taiwan. Their first album Be Well World has been selected to “The Top 10 record of 2017”. On July 15 we did a yearly concert: That’s My Shhh 3, and now we are preparing the new album, which will be released in late 2018.
An international jazz group formed up in 2017, featuring musicians from The Netherlands, Taiwan and Malaysia. We just released our first record and did a tour around Netherlands, (May 31- June 2) including the Red Light Jazz Festival. The next coming up show will be on Oct. 26 at the Taipei Jazz Festival.
A duo project with the long-time corporate pianist Tseng-yi Tseng. We just finished the yearly concert in National Recital Hall, and a TV episode. The new duo-album is also under process.
It is my second solo album, released on July 27, a pure improvisation album. With the top improvisational Pianist Shih-Yang Lee joining forces, it is also worth noting that the album includes the world renowned Drummer/Erhuist Sabu Toyozumi in fold. The trio has been constantly collaborating on numerous live projects in both Taiwan and Japan.
What does inspire you most in the musicians you play with? Which feature cannot be missing in a musician to play with?
Well, It’s hard to say the most inspiring one. Some of the musicians have great sense of harmony, some of them have strong rhythm and some of the people have brilliant ideas about developing melodies and wide-open ears. We all want to make the music sound good, so to me as a musician, we have to make other folks in the band sounds good, to be able to bring up the best of each other, then we’ll have a chance to make good music, and to feel good.
Talking about both musicians and audience, what is your opinion about the Taiwan jazz scene compared to other continents?
Let’s say if we don’t talk about one genre only, but about all the music genres, the scene is quite active, and jazz is still young here (both musicians and audience). So, in other words, there’s some space for jazz to develop, especially on the education side.
Which “non-jazz” artists of the past have influenced you the most and which musicians of today are particularly interesting for you?
Well, it’s hard to give one or two names, because at the beginning you will have one or two road models while studying, but in the end you listen to everybody. You are just influenced by the musicians you’re working with.What is your opinion about the new streaming and distribution services offered by Internet to professional musicians? And what do you think are the biggest challenges in the music business of the 2000s for a professional musician?
I think it helps a lot in the spreading out process. It is so convenient now if you want to listen to anything, as long as people upload it. Of course it makes less profit for musicians day by day, but live music is not replaceable and clearly people know that, so why worry? I don’t know what’s the biggest challenge now, I think life is much tougher compared to music. Music is simple, find a good note, write a good tune and meet the right people to play with, which already can make me happy. But talking about the business, you just have to realize that it is a BUSINESS, it’s not a thing to do with, let’s say, to play a good solo. It took some time for me to understand that.
What are your musical plans/dreams for the future?
The plan is to do my best in order to accomplish all the projects I’m involved in. Frankly speaking, I have this feeling that I’m too busy at the moment, too much output but not enough input. And I’m spending too much time on the business side of music (as most of the independent artists), but not on music itself. So I would like to organize myself a bit better, and to be able to practice more.


Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有;  An espresso with… Min-Yen Terry Hsieh copyright Jazzespresso 2018.
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