Composer and bassist Michael Janisch is known for his distinct virtuosity and a penchant for thematic material, attention to groove and a reverence for his past musical experiences.
He performs at Birmingham Conservatoire, in support of his latest album, Paradigm Shift, (Thu 8 Oct) where jazz fans can witness Janisch and his exceptional band propel his music into new sonic terrain conceptually, harmonically, and rhythmically.
We caught up with Michael on his tour to get an idea of what the concert promises…
How is the Paradigm Shift tour going? In a recent blog post you describe the music as having taken a ‘big step forward’ during the tour. How do see the music as having evolved? What is different now from when you played the first show?
We’re 18 shows into the tour and we’ve had a lot of good times on and off the stage, this just gets the music to a deeper place. The musicians have long since memorised their parts and we’ve gotten beyond the initial settling in period.
We’re interacting on a more subtle level now but also taking more chances in the music, exploring, etc, and letting people have their space, the music just plays itself and we’re just having fun. Also, when you do that many gigs in a row you get gig chops on your instrument which is nice cause you feel very connected with your instrument in a way you can never achieve from just practicing.
What can the Birmingham Conservatoire audience expect to hear? Will you recreate the album faithfully, or do you prefer to improvise with the material?
We’ll play all the songs from the album and the scored parts will be recognisable but we’ve developed everything to a new place and improvisation is always at the forefront.
Paradigm Shift was originally recorded in 2011 with further recording, post-production, mixing and mastering subsequently added throughout 2014 and 15. Was the intention always to work in this way – by recording it live and then finishing it off in the studio?
No, the reason I did this was because after it was recorded I had two other band/album commitments and had to see those projects through. After they ran their course I got back to this music and I knew I wanted my new band to feature an electronic musician, so I thought it would be great to have him add the post production to the album and so that’s what we did over a good 15 sessions.
What was the reason behind you adding further overdubs rather than just releasing a live album?
I wanted to enhance the sonic landscape of the music and now we’re doing that live on the shows.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Recently I’ve been getting into London based bands Polar Bear (I did a gig w/ Sebastian Roachford and loved his playing) and also The Invisible.
Michael Janisch appears at Birmingham Conservatoire on 8 October at 8pm. Book tickets online.