OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS Artist Q&A with ÄTSCH
Led by Irish-based German guitarist, Matthias Winkler, ÄTSCH fuse contemporary jazz improvisation with the sound aesthetics of modern-day post-rock. ÄTSCH create a soundworld rich in lyrical melodies with ample space for each of the soloists to shine. Taking their cues in equal measure from post-rock giants like Sigur Rós or Explosions in the Sky, as well as contemporary Jazz artists such as Gilad Hekselman or Julian Lage, ÄTSCH have certainly got the attention of the European Jazz Scene, being the first Irish artists to perform in Jazzahead’s Club night series which runs concurrent to the main showcases in Germany. The members of ÄTSCH shared a few of their thoughts on music and life with us, ahead of their performance at the first Signal Series of 2020, 6th February at Arthur's Blues & Jazz Club.
Q. What is the most important thing to you when making music?
Eoin O’Halloran // Bass:
For me there are two things. Clarity of intent and keeping an open mind.
By clarity of intent I mean the ability to portray a tangible musical or abstract idea in a clear way so that it remains true to the artists original intent while still giving the listeners something to “grab on to”. The intent could be a build of tension before a release, to create a powerful sense of forward motion, to instil a certain emotion or even to create a sense of jumbled, dissonant chaos. The possibilities are of course endless and words are not really enough to describe them anyway.
Keeping an open mind speaks for itself. I think most improvising musician's goal is to reach that flow state where it feels like you could play anything or push the music in any direction and still make it work.
Q. Who or what inspires you at the moment - be it in music, arts, politics or your personal life?
Matthias Winkler // Guitar
Probably my Grandmother. I am 28 years “young” now. And already feel this place (earth) went pretty nuts over the last twenty years.
She is 83, seen so much, and still has the most sane mind of anyone I know. That sense of keeping calm no matter what is very inspiring for me and something to aspire towards if I ever get that old.
Q. How would you describe the kind of music that ÄTSCH makes?
Graeme Bourke // Piano
I think the music could be described as a blend of post rock with jazz, at times with some pop elements thrown in also. I think the music has progressed in its own original direction as we have become more familiar with the material and with each other. It feels to me more open than before, with some extended solo sections and plenty of interplay between the instruments. I think the music does a good job of finding the balance between originality, expensiveness, technical elements and accessibility
Q. In your ideal gig, what experience/response would the audience have?
Matthias Winkler // Guitar
Feel something. Anything, really. The music I love the most always feels to me like it “has” to burst out of the musician.
If you can grab the attention of someone listening, even just for a moment, and “transfer” something of what you feel to them, you hit the jackpot in my opinion.
Q. What direction do you see the music industry headed towards in the next 20 years?
Hugh Denman // Drums:
It's hard to imagine where the industry might be in 20 years---20 years ago, around 1999, the commercial industry was at its peak, and in many ways it's been in decline since then. I think there will be much broader participation in the 'industry' as technology and distribution gets cheaper around the world, and that government and philanthropic support will be increasingly important in keeping musical activity vital.