INTERVIEW WITH AL SWAINGER
Feb - March 2020  ©Interview by Lee Henderson

 
 
Al Swainger is a busy man. He has graced more recordings than I can list here without taking up an entire page, and has intimate knowledge of several other instruments besides bass, which is most famous for. I found that out when I first reviewed his 'Pointless Beauty' release, upon hearing all the parts Al wrote for other instruments, that were sure and exactly as if he was a master of each of those instruments himself. After speaking with him back then, finding that he did had plenty of experience. To bypass all the credits and details, I have put his webiste and bandcamp link for readers to check out. I also spoke with a top notch musician who has worked with Al on one of his recordings named Gary Bamford. Here is what he said about Mr. Swainger.

"Al is without doubt one of the most creative musicians I've had the pleasure to work with. He's gently honest in the studio, a truly instinctive improviser, wonderful composer and selfless accompanist. Al has added dimensions that I didn't know existed to some of my compositions, and I can't wait to hear how he'll shape the next collection of tunes on the second trio album. We share a similar sense of humour, similar tastes in music and film, and it's a joy to spend time with him socially, as well as working with him". - Gary Bamford

https://www.alswainger.com/
https://alswainger.bandcamp.com/

LH - Lee Henderson
AS - Al Swainger



LH: Welcome to Big Beautiful Noise Al. Nice to have a chat with you.

AS: Hi Lee. Thanks for having me along!

LH: I have talked with you a few times in the past and recall one of the things that struck me about the first album I reviewed of yours [Pointless Beauty - After and Before - 2017), was how well you wrote all the parts of other instruments. I remember you told me you played some of them starting back in school. Can you tell us how many instruments you can play, or have played besides bass?

AS: I started on cornet when I was 6 and then took up piano as well about 6 months later. My dad played both of those and I suppose I just wanted to be able to do it too. I shifted through a few of the brass family. Cornet moved to trumpet as I got a bit bigger, then tenor horn. I got my first taste of pit work playing tenor horn and piano in the school musical when I was about 8 or 9. I think I shifted to french horn when I was about 12. My dad had worked out that I was more likely to get playing opportunities if I played a ‘shortage’ instrument. There weren’t many french horn players around at the time. It gave me quite a wide variety of experience with different ensembles too. Brass quintet, wind band, orchestra. I loved all those situations. It was seeing a big band play that really leapt out as a group that I wanted to be in rather than an opportunity that was offered to me though. French horn is not a common instrument for that lineup so it wasn’t as straight forward as if I’d stuck to trumpet but they let me in with a bit of persistance. I’d seen one play in the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra so I knew it was possible. As a horn player you have to be able to transpose in orchestras so I took that over to helping me fit in for the big band. Once they knew they wouldn’t have to write all the music out again for me in a new key there was no problem. When I got to high school they had their own big band and they put me where they were short of instruments. First in the trumpet section and then with the trombones. It was all good strong classical style training – reading music, following a conductor, sectional playing etc Later on I played bass and piano in big band settings too.

During my teens I also got into the high school pop group. I joined as a second keyboard player then started to dabble with bass & guitar – whichever instrument had the coolest part in the song I found a way to be on that instrument. Randy Newman’s Guilty was great for piano, Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer had a cool bass part, Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven has that great guitar solo at the end and so on. No one seemed to mind and everyone in the group played at least a couple of instruments so it worked out. I even sang on a couple of numbers but I’m a bit self-conscious to have explored that path much so far.

The double bass came a lot later for me when I was about 30. I took it up mainly because I spotted how much work I was losing by not playing it. I’d got a lot more into mainstream jazz circles by then. At first there weren’t many double bass players in the area where I lived so I was ok sticking to electric but after a while it become double bass or nothing in the eyes of people booking the gigs so it was a logical progression for me.  If I’m playing a swing based gig I only really feel comfortable playing double bass on it now – as much for the physicality involved as the sound.

I still play the piano, mainly for composition although there are some contributions on my albums too. I’m particularly proud of the track After & Before which is an improvisation of mine. The last couple of years I’ve been working on 6-string bass but I’ve been slow to adjust to the new geography of the extra strings reliably. I’m writing a book of etudes to help me learn more thoroughly now.
 


LH: Since my first introduction to your music, you have been part of countless other projects. You also have worked with dozens of people in the past. What have been some of your favorite recordings so far?

AS: My Pointless Beauty – After & Before album is the thing I’m proudest of as a bandleader & composer. It summed up a lot of the areas that I’d been moving through as a player & composer to that point. It still stems out of the jazz tradition but combines with a lot of other influences to take it somewhere different. Working with Snow Giants, Grice and Keith Tippett over the preceding few years definitely gave me some confidence to really be myself with it.

The Art Trip – Music of Art Pepper album was quite a landmark for me in terms of moving up a level in the mainstream jazz arena. Alan Barnes is one of our national treasures in the UK so it was particularly cool to do a recording with him and have it released on the Woodville label.

The Snow Giants – UN album (with Mike Outram & 05Ric) was great to take off in a very different direction. Much more to my prog rock roots but with dashes of latin / fusion / ambient. We improvised for a day in the studio and then edited and overdubbed new stuff till it turned into the record it did. This is an approach I take a lot now. I like the freshness of doing stuff off the cuff but with the freedom to treat that as raw material for post composition.

LH: I think it may surprise people to know how versatile you are with genres and able to play so well in them. Has it always been in your life, the varied styles of music, and is that why you are so welcomed to the table in such a spread of artists?

AS: Pretty much I guess. In general I think it’s easier to share what people already love than to try and convince them of something they either have no connection with or actively dislike. So whenever I meet people I try to find out what they’re into. Over the years that’s meant that I’ve listened to a lot of different music. The advantage of sharing someone’s passion with them is that they also shortcut you to the really outstanding stuff in an area. Once you know what the classic recordings are, and why people like them, it’s much easier to start actively exploring for yourself. Eventually you get to that point where you recognise music is just music. Being the ‘right player’ for each situation is down to being able to assess the frame of reference of the person who asked you to play. If you know what they listen to that will tell you a lot about what they are expecting to hear. It’s then a judgement call about how experimental they might want you to be.  If I’m in a recording situation I tend to start simple and gradually get more complex so they have a range to choose from. People are often most easily impressed by complexity but when it gets down to it they tend to prefer simplicity overall I find.


LH: You are not only a busy bassist but also a digital artist, composer, teacher, and producer. Have you been asked to produce any albums? And did you also play on any of them?

AS: I produced Becky Brine’s Catharsis album for her which was a really nice change of pace. It was great to follow a vision that comes from someone else. She played me a few demos of stuff initially that she’d been working on and I could just instantly hear where they needed to go. Becky is a great lyricist and has a lovely direct simplicity to her melodies and harmony. Lyrically she has a wonderful capacity for being really funny one song and heartbreaking the next. There’s also a really grounded honesty in there that I think is pretty rare these days. Musically I heard a lot of blues, jazz and classic rock influences in her stuff that just needed a little nudge to be more explicit. I think that’s a big part of production. Not to impose your own ideas but to figure out what the artist is getting at and help them to express it with greater facility by making creative suggestions. It’s also an unconventional ensemble. Becky was clear about wanting to have a small band for this one. I suggested going with electric bass, organ and drums. You hear guitar, organ and drums quite a bit but the way I play (with fx) you get the best of both worlds as a guitarist isn’t needed on this stuff all the time and, while organ bass lines are a fair substitute, it’s not the same as having a real bass player down there. Between us the organ and bass could swap roles as needed to sound more like a quartet when playing live. There’s so many moods on there it would be hard to say listen to just one track to get a measure of it. The last three tracks (Lose You, Confusing, You Me Sofa) would probably be a good start if you wanted to check it out though.


LH: You have tackled some heavy projects such as making new versions or rethinking the music of Chick Corea, Art Pepper, and lots of big band tunes. What compositions gave you the most challenge and why?

AS: From a technical standpoint things like Got a Match, No Mystery or Straight Life are challenging to play but that kind of challenge is really just about having a good practice strategy to get it together. Conceptually they aren’t difficult. I think, when it comes to reinterpreting someone elses music, it kind of flows or it doesn’t though. There’s a few different stages. What tunes do I like, how does the ensemble take to playing them, would they suit the group more if we made some changes. I can never really resist the ‘what happens if?’ approach to arranging or writing music. Stuff works or it doesn’t. The thing is to not be afraid to try things. No idea is too weird or too mundane to try and so much of the best stuff is happy accidents when things are unexpected or ‘go wrong’. The stuff that works stays and the stuff that doesn’t goes. I’m looking for an emotional connection in the way the music plays. We recorded a version of Crystal Silence which I love. It just worked on the day – we gave it a slightly unstable new soul kind of vibe and it came out just the right kind of wonky. Since then we’ve had a couple of performances where we captured that same magic but whatever headspace we were in collectively that day doesn’t come back to us easily as an ensemble so we stopped playing it. That’s pretty rare but it’s the same thing when a piece stops encouraging the ensemble to go somewhere new or exciting. We may come back later or just leave it altogether. The exploration and sharing that adventure with an audience is the purpose of making, particularly improvised, music. It’s time to go home when we feel like we’re just going through the motions. When it comes to the studio I treat that like another instrument again. There’s a level of aural intricacy you can get into there that is kind of a waste of time in a more broad strokes live environment but I treat them as two different experiences. What works well live sometimes feels a little flat and unexciting on a studio record for instance. It’s a constant evolution dictated by context for me.


LH: I know the climate for musicians as far as finances is not as great as it should be. Has the combination of you doing session work, teaching, and your other endeavors kept the bills paid or do you rely on other income as well?

AS: It’s a very variable thing. I’ve had times when I’ve been doing very well and other times where I can’t really pay my bills. I’m fortunate to have a very understanding wife for the times when things aren’t so good but mainly it works out. I just make music. All my income comes from making music in one form or another and mainly performing. I spend a lot of time thinking about education but mainly do one off consultation type sessions or workshops these days. The sad fact in general is that people are both less able and less willing to pay for music. In terms of service (performing or teaching) there’s always someone cheaper, recorded music can be accessed for next to nothing, educational materials are everywhere online for free, people expect to pay huge ticket prices for ‘famous’ bands but free entry for everything else. I think, as a society, we’ve been trained to respond to a quantitative model rather than a qualitative one. Ease of access and how little you pay are presented as though they are qualitative. Sheer information overload and an inadequate education system make this an easy perspective to swallow I think. Obviously that’s a huge sweeping generalization for a very complex subject but I don’t think it’s without foundation. The more you get into sorting it out though the more political it rapidly becomes and you can join pretty much any online conversation to plummet down that rabbit hole! As musicians our livelihoods are attuned to the financial health of the communities we live in. If every else does well then we do well. When they don’t the arts in general suffer.

LH: You have quite an extensive background in both composing and playing. When did the bass become the instrument you felt was your main love, or is it?

AS: Haha. A complex question. I committed to ‘being’ a ‘bass player’ in my early twenties, after finishing teacher training. I’d made a lot of music in various styles on various instruments but never really settled. I wasn’t playing with anyone, didn’t have a job, didn’t want to go into classroom teaching and didn’t really have any connections. Then a dep offer for a local soul band ‘Dodgey Practice’ came up. I didn’t know any of the music but I checked it out, learned the set and got offered the chair permanently so I said yes. Once I did that, word kind of got out that I played bass so I got offered more gigs doing that. I love being a bass player. There’s a lot of control from that position but you’re also sort of invisible. It’s also an excellent study in humility. You can be very respected while you do what’s expected of you and support everyone else. If you want to change that dialogue and speak up or out a little more it’s a different story and you need pretty thick skin. When I’m doing some of my experimental fx stuff and playing more like a guitarist I have had that ‘why don’t you play guitar if you want to play like that’ kind of comment. The reason is that I like being a bass player. But the bass voice isn’t always the right voice for what I want to say. I figure, why shouldn’t I be free to change it and speak with a different one? There’s no practical reason to prevent me any longer but  people can get uncomfortable when you disrupt the status quo. Not listeners generally but other musicians can do I’ve noticed. There’s a much bigger dialogue hiding in there that I’m in the process of exploring.

These days I probably look at it the other way round. I imagine the sounds I feel are necessary for the music I want or need to make and use those – however they are generated. Mainly it works out that I can do that with my bass!
I didn’t just move straight into that way of doing things though. There was a period where I was really obsessed with being a bass player specifically and really hammering technical exercises. But in 2008 I developed RSI in my right hand and there was a period where I just couldn’t play like I used to. I got into Alexander technique and that really revolutionized my thinking and approach. If I hadn’t I would have had to stop playing in all honesty.  There's an article on my website about it in more detail if people are interested as it’s a really big topic to get into but the upshot was that I had to take everything back to basics and start again. I had a good eighteen months where it was a real struggle to play even the most simple things reliably and usually with quite a bit of pain. As I moved through it though it gave me a real reappraisal of the value of simplicity and moved me onto a different path. You have no choice but to deal with how much your ego is a part of why you’re doing what you’re doing and how much it really is about making the music work. I guess that’s also had an effect on how much I feel I have to accommodate or negotiate the egos of the players I work with too...

LH: Any ideas about the next solo or an artist you would love to cover in a re-imagined way?

AS: I’m playing with ideas for at least one, possibly two more projects this year and a follow up to my ambient album ‘Outer Planets’ as well. I really liked the long form patient vibe of that one. It came together very quickly and I’ve been thinking about how I can vary the ideas to make something new but in the same vein. That will be another solo record. I’ve got an improvised duo starting to take shape with drummer Jon Clark (from my Biophosmos project). We’ve been doing a feature during live gigs for a while and someone came up to ask if they could buy our duo album recently so I thought we better get round to actually making one. That’ll probably be much more groove based I think but until we get in the studio and start laying some stuff doing I never really know what’s going to happen. The music will go where it needs to go. Beyond that we toured the Pointless Beauty – After & Before album at the end of last year as a double header with the Biophosmos : Music of Chick Corea album and people responded really well to that. I’d really like to compose more for that project too. The main problem there is audience size relative to the cost of taking the band out. If enthusiasm paid the bills it would be easy but I’m going to have to think carefully about how, where and who to present that to in an affordable way. I tend to identify as a jazz musician, because so much of what I do revolves around improvisation, but the music speaks to a lot of people who wouldn’t consider themselves jazz fans necessarily. My influences are not really drawn from a swing base any longer – which alienates people for whom that’s all jazz is about – but people that also grew up as rock or fusion fans seem to really love it. Likewise people with no experience of jazz at all have often reacted really positively.

LH: What are a few of the musicians who really turned your head during your youth. And then who did you love in your young adult years? And presently, who do you dig these days?

AS:  As a bass player the first players to really make an impact were Geddy Lee, Steve Harris & Pete Trewavas. I spent a lot of time learning to play all of Hold Your Fire, various Iron Maiden albums although Stranger In a Strange Land & Powerslave were particular favourites for those counterpoint solos where the guitar and bass both get to do melodic things at the same time. I also learned the whole of Clutching at Straws. I worked out all the parts of that album and recorded them in midi into the Atari computer we had at the time. I would have been using an early version of Cubase – Pro 24 or something like that. I spent a lot of time learning Francis Rocco Prestia parts from the Tower of Power records. Pino Palladino during the 80’s was just a god to me on fretless and is still a real touchstone for me in approaching that instrument. He’s always so great at doing these amazing melodic fills that don’t get in the way of the music. It also led me to exploring a lot of cool records as he was everyone’s favourite session player for a while. Guitarists also had a big effect on me - I really loved Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai for instance. I remember learning the Comfortably Numb solo from Delicate Sound of Thunder note for note and I played Satriani’s Always With Me Always With You as a request at my sister’s wedding. As much as I loved the individual players I really loved all the arrangements and the way they sounded together as bands. On the jazz front I was totally in love with Miles Davis – Amandla, Weather Report – Heavy Weather, Loose Tubes – Open Letter. I didn’t really have any aspirations to play those things. They were beyond my comprehension as to how you could possibly take them apart. I see it a lot more easily now but at the time it was just like magic. I loved it and it was enough just to enjoy being in the same room with the sounds going on.

In my twenties I listened to Extreme III just relentlessly, so good! Bowie’s Earthling, Outside, Black Tie White Noise.... Prince, Divine Comedy, there was the whole new wave of Prog Rock bands that came out of Inside Out label. I particularly adored Spock’s Beard, Flower Kings, Transatlantic – it was like a whole different approach to music for me. I hadn’t heard any Gentle Giant at that point either so those fugue like things really blew my mind. When I got into being a double bass player I spent about ten years playing in an Oscar Peterson tribute so that got me pretty intimate with Ray Brown’s style too. There are other great double bassists too but he’s my favourite for making walking lines melodic rather than just outlining harmony. Later on Radiohead, Brad Mehldau and Bjork all helped reinvent what music could do again for me. I loved the more textural approach and sound design that’s been going on. I could go on and on. There’s so many great artists out there with something unique to say!

LH: Did anyone else in your family play an instrument or get involved in music in a big way?

AS: My dad played piano, guitar, trumpet and later trombone so I suppose it was pretty natural that I’d see him play and want to join in. He was also a music teacher which can’t have hurt. My mum always enjoyed singing in choirs and my sister learned piano, french horn and also loves to sing. None of them are quite as obsessed by it as I am but it’s always been around and they’re very keen on music in general.

LH: Here is a curve ball. What deceased musicians do you wish you had a chance to have played with or met?

AS: Ha, I’m still waiting for some of them to die for this question! Not really – I'm very glad Thom Yorke, Brian Eno and Peter Erskine are still alive... never going to happen but no one ever asks that question about living musicians. I don’t know really. There’s that expression about never meeting your heroes... I don’t find it easy to just launch into conversation with people unless it happens naturally. Suddenly being in a room with people whose recordings I love would likely just be really awkward. I like being in a playing situation with people so that would probably be better for me, that’s where I’m at home. In fact when I have had gigs with people who I’ve known from their recordings for a long time first what I’ve found over and again is that they’re just people. Awe vanishes very fast and they’re usually just lovely, quite humble, people. Anyway, to get back on track, dead musicians! I imagine Miles Davis would have been terrifying to work with – his biography paints a fairly scary picture. Prince was awesome but I imagine we’d have been quite a personality clash.  So not them... I think it would have been pretty cool to be in the studio with David Bowie. I adore all the slightly more out there periods Low, Little Wonder, Outside, Blackstar. I think it would have been awesome to be there throwing ideas around for any of that stuff. For just having a knockabout jam I think probably Neil Peart. Rush is perfect. I don’t like all the albums but massive respect for the range of stuff they did. Peart was the first rock drummer I heard who played parts, arranged like a percussionist. I always loved how composed and intricate his stuff sounded. It was chopsy but it felt like it was that way because it needed to be rather than because he was trying to impress anyone or dominate the ensemble. Anyway, I think it would have been fun just to spend an afternoon in a garage knocking ideas around for fun with him to see what came out.

LH: What advice would you give young or beginning musicians in this day and age?

AS: Be clear with yourself about what you want out of it. Decide whether it’s a hobby or a profession and if it’s a profession learn about marketing. Be honest and easy to get on with because your reputation is everything. Word of mouth is THE thing most likely to get you work so make sure you can always deliver the goods and treat every situation like you mean it. There are no rehearsals, just performing to the best of your ability. You can’t be everyone’s favourite musician so don’t worry about it when you aren’t. Learn to live with the reality that your ability has very little to do with how much you’ll ever be paid and when it’s going well be grateful. Bad luck will puncture your ego quick enough if you don’t. Don’t give up.

LH: Do you have big dreams ahead, about making a certain type album, or putting together a special band of sorts? What would that be like?

AS: I’m sort of lucky (or pigheaded enough) that I get to do my dream projects anyway – from a musical standpoint at least. The ‘big dream’ is really to do it to a higher standard, for larger audiences and earn enough that I can continue that cycle. Beyond that I’d really like to do more cross-media stuff. Work with artists, lighting designers, dancers. Something more akin to theatre or art installations would be great.

LH: You seem very grounded and prepared to make music your life. Is that your plan or do you see other things in your future as you get older?

AS: Music always has been my life. I think I knew by the time I was about 8 that I’d found the thing that was my passion in life. I didn’t have a very focused view of it, and in many ways still don’t, but I’ve just always been making, listening or thinking about making music. I’ve been making digital art with my phone for a few years too now. I find that quite therapeutic, almost a mindfulness exercise in itself, and it came about quite naturally without really deciding to do so. In fact I’ve been a little slow in coming to terms with the idea that I’m an ‘artist’ over the last year or so. Both aurally and visually. It wasn’t a plan or decision, more a personal observation about myself that it had happened... Which feels a little weird. I’m still working on taking full ownership of that concept.

LH: How did this Al Swainger Q*tet, that does renewed versions of some Chick Corea, along with some of your own older compositions in concert, come about? How did you choose these particular musicians? And how did the music of Chick Corea interest you this much?

AS: I’d been running a jazz jam when I first came to Bristol, nearly 4 years ago, and in an effort to make it a bit different we did a themed musician each month. A lot of people do that now but I was really into going the extra mile and taking down arrangements from original recordings and picking music that wasn’t in regular circulation. I guess it was a bit more like a repertoire orchestra scenario then a typical jam but it was a lot of fun to try and do things to a high standard with minimal preparation. The session got canned with zero notice by the pub but the last one we did was a Chick Corea session. It was such a blast that I asked the players that had formed the core of the band if they wanted to make it a longer term project. Et voila. After we did the album it felt like it had an identity of its own so Biophosmos become the project name, as well as the title of the album, and I ditched the Al Swainger Q*tet label. I didn’t want to call it Pointless Beauty because, although I took the approach of arranging and producing it as though I’d written it,  it’s not my music. I wanted a clear distinction between those areas. If it’s called Pointless Beauty it will always be original compositions or improvisations.

LH: The latest project you are involved with (correct me if I am wrong) is Mahatmosphere 'Beautiful Dirt' album with Marco Anderson on drums, and Mark Lawrence (guitar). And all 3 of your use various treatments and electronics. Tell us about this trio and the music.

AS: This one is an improvised trio with a fairly fusion angle. Mark and Marco are big McLaughlin fans so it tends to run in a more jazz-rock-fusion direction perhaps than Snow Giants which was a little more prog-rock perhaps. Labels are always tricky. If we don’t use them everything comes across like it’s the same but when we do it’s easy to quickly get buried in lists of sub-genres. Just listen to the music people! Haha. Marco brings some keys and vocoder into the mix as well as his drums. Both Mark and I have fairly extensive fx setups. It’s a real anything goes, sh*t at the wall, kind of project that gets pretty savage at times. There’s a nice raw, heavy energy to a lot of it that I don’t do with any of the other projects. I’m generally a bit more chilled with moments of rocking out in my own material. This one might well be almost the inverse of that.

LH: Any other things you are presently working on that fans will be interested in?

AS: I’m a bit of a workaholic, and fairly incorrigible when it comes to variety, so if I’ve got a free moment I tend to be doing something with someone. I never know what other people will be interested in but other things I’m doing that are of interest to me.... I’ve been a member of Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen for ten years now and a live album is due out some time this year from my understanding. That’ll be much more of a traditional jazz thing. I’ve also been working with Michele Drees Jazz Tap Project for the last couple of years which includes quite a bit of Latin / Brazilian material. It features two tap dancers, two horns and rhythm section. A recording is being discussed for that at the moment as well. There’s also some talk going on about rejoining Grice on the road again at some point this year although only one date has been confirmed so far. Then there’s a whole other album worth of source material for another Snow Giants recording that I’ve been meaning to get round to for about two years...

LH: I know your colleagues think of you as the musicians bass player, and have high respect for you as a well rounded session artist. You are certainly one of the busiest bassists I know of. With those things all solid, is there any question that you wish someone would ask you, or something you always wanted to say out loud, but never have had a chance? Now is your time.

AS:  Sometimes people do ask me - “Your style is really cinematic, why don’t you write film music?” and the simple answer is that no one has asked me to. If you like my stuff and need a collaborative composer then please do get in touch! I came close once but, after submitting a few apparently well received suggestions to stimuli, I got the vibe they really wanted a much more traditional orchestral thing that they didn’t have the budget for. Money isn’t everything but when you get a sense that it’s more important that you’re cheap and competent than an original composer the motivation dries up fast for me. There's only so much time so I like to know I'm invested in things when I agree to do them. My favourite film scores are always the ones where I hear something unique in the personality of the composer coming through. I always squirm a bit when choices have been made to do little sonic callbacks to other composers / films by sounding a bit John Williams or Danny Elfman for instance. It never really elevates the film because you're doing a cheap imitation of an archetype you can't afford without the originality those composers bring / are afforded. Whereas you’re instantly in a very specific and intimate cinematic universe once a Vangelis, John Carpenter or Ennio Morricone soundtrack kicks in for instance. They add so much charm and character because they aren't the mainstream choices and come at things from their own perspective. I loved Mica Levi’s soundtrack for ‘Under the Skin’. That score has so much to do with capturing the personality of that film. A really brilliant fusion of the orchestral and synthesized to generate atmosphere. It's another huge subject I could bang on about all day... Why did you get me started! Haha.


LH: Thank you again for taking this time with us. I am sure the readers will appreciate it, and I know I have always enjoyed talking with you. I will keep following whatever you do musically in the future and wish you the best.

AS: It’s been a pleasure. It’s a rare opportunity to get to talk so in depth. Thank you.
END of Interview with Al Swainger , ©Interview by Lee Henderson 3 - 4 - 2020




 

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