INTERVIEW | IVO NEAME PREPARES FOR NEW RELEASE
We are pleased to announce the upcoming release of new album from pianist Ivo Neame.
Yatra, Neame’s second album on Edition Records under his own name, will be released 24 September in the UK. Featuring the Ivo Neame Octet, Neame’s latest oeuvre is symphonic in conception and execution, and builds on his previous release, Caught in the Light of Day. Neame creates new spectrums of colour and character on this most recent album and he definitively displays his mastership of large ensemble composition. Yatra is compiled of highly original and developed compositions, stemming from an intensely creative time for Neame written between periods of intense touring.
We asked Ivo about how he approached composing and recording for this project…
Edition Records: You have just finished recording your new album with your octet – how did the recording process go?
Ivo Neame: The recording process was a little fraught to be honest. Some things didn’t turn out the way I expected straight away and I ended up having to go back to the studio several times to get exactly what I was after. Some people seem to be able to plan everything in their head in advance but I go with my reactions to things a lot more, which I suppose isn’t particularly rational… on the positive side, that’s the good thing about this music – there are so many different types of people writing and everyone has their own approach and style.
ER: Do you approach this kind of larger ensemble composition in a different way to how you would approach composing for a smaller 3 or 4 piece combo?
IN: I suppose I wanted to write music that had some more counterpoint going on in it. It felt natural to use more instruments to do this. Most of the time I tried this approach. There are some sections that are a bit more ‘block-chord-y’ but as much as I could, I tried to have three or more parts happening at the same time. Hopefully that makes for more rewarding listening because you can zone in on whichever part takes your fancy. Or maybe you notice something that you didn’t hear the first time you listened to it.
ER: Are you quite particular about how your compositions are realised in rehearsals – through recordings etc? Or are the other musician’s interpretations of your compositions part of the compositional process?
IN: Above all, I just try and write strong melodies and try to keep the music interesting rhythmically. In fact, some of the best points on the record are the bits where all the horns are improvising together. Like on ‘Yatra’ – the title track. It’s fun to follow how each horn player improvises and how they respond to the other players. Whether they choose to ignore or to go with what the other guys are doing.
ER: You’ve played a couple of gigs with this group and new material now – how did they go?
IN: We did a gig at the Amersham Arms recently which was great. It was on the same night as the football, but people still came! It was really fun because it feels like everyone knows the material now and it feels like there is a good variety in the set. Julian Siegel was playing bass clarinet which was great as well – he’s a fantastic musician and I was really happy he could come and play on the gig!
ER: What’s next?
IN: I’m really looking forward to the gig at King’s place in September ‘cos it’s such a great atmosphere when this number of musicians get together to play… I hope people will come and check out this band because I think it’s developing a sound with the combination of tunes that I have been working on over the years, but also this particular instrumentation gives it its own stamp.
Keep checking in for more info on Yatra over the coming weeks – in the mean time if you haven’t already – why not check out Ivo’s previous album here and you can catch Ivo and his octet at the Edition Festival at Kings Place in September as part of the Edition festival.
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