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Saturday
Feb192011

The other side of the stage

LIVE MUSIC MONTH SPECIAL

Hopefully many of you have been keeping tabs on the updated Live Music Month page.  While we've spent time asking the you good people, and the team about our notable experiences, I also thought it would be good to put the question to some of our further friends of the site, the people who actually make the music themselves.

Ana Silvera, the stunning writer and vocalist that we found in 2009 and have loved ever since.  Having chalked up performing duties all around the world including London and New York, we asked the seasoned performer what it's like to step out onto a stage and describe the experience of performing:

"It’s kind of like sex, or a conversation, we give it a name and we may try to hold onto a fixed idea of how it should be, but it can be just so many different things. There is also the acceptance that I don't ultimately have control over that indefinable, subtle quality, as prepared or unprepared as I may be, and as hard as that can be sometimes. Other times, it can be total unexpected magic. I need enough ego to get myself out on stage in the first place, but ego has no place in the performance of the songs, I have to give it up."

Ana Silvera is like a living, breathing poem - In our feature on her, I described her live performances: "Watching Ana Silvera grace a stage is a real treat as, through her profound warmth and fluency, she manages to grasp your attention as you linger on every word she sings, and every piano note she plays."

Speaking of favourites, one of the artists I'm most proud of having had on this site is the awesome Jose James.  I genuinely can't remember the last time I was this excited about a new artist - well, I say 'new' but James has now blessed us with 3 albums and I live under the hope of much more on the way.  James is another artist with an incredible passion and respect to his craft - a massive touring schedule spanning the globe and an artist who encapsulates everything this blog and The Blue-in-Green Sessions has tried to be about.  Embarrassingly, since our site's redesign, our excellent interview with him hasn't yet made its way over (but I promise you it will soon!), but I did ask him about how he would describe his approach to live performances:

Creative. I never perform the same way twice and everything is very natural and in the moment. I want to bring my full self in performance and I give myself to it fully! I live for that moment and space and time.

Now, one to whet your appetites a little... next month, we'll be unveiling a brand new feature with Gizelle Smith - a wonderful performing and vocal talent that the UK should be proud to call their own.  With one album under her belt, with The Mighty Mocambos, we're eagerly anticipating new and exciting things from her over the next few years, so as a little bonus to that feature, we thought we'd talk live music with Gizelle:

Well... I can certainly tell you without hesitation what my LEAST favourite experience of performing has been. Singing at my sister's wedding. I cried (with joy, apparently) all the way through it. I was absolutely ridiculous. But I digress. I don't really have any one particular instance of a favourite experience... performing per se is my all-time favourite pastime and I don't tend to have favourites within a favourite but... y'know it's really something to be part of the performer vibe at festivals […]

Paris has so far been very exciting and welcoming. It's always an honour to play in Manchester (my home town) and I've got good memories of shows in really dingy clubs in Hamburg. But then, I was in Oslo the other day and was absolutely overwhelmed by the hospitality and the air of expectation when we arrived […] Ultimately, I just love performing anywhere with a stage, to a responsive crowd... it really doesn't take much to make Gizella happy.

 

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