Dave Douglas: There’s Wisdom Everywhere in the Universe (via AllAboutJazz)
Along with a thoughtful synopsis of Dave’s last year — the two album releases Be Still and Time Travel, the 50 States tour, plus all the other projects he has going — AllAboutJazz published a lengthy and interesting interview with AAJ’s Dave Wayne titled “There’s Wisdom Everywhere in the Universe.”
Below is in excerpt from the conversation, this piece revolving around Be Still. So much more good stuff over there. We encourage you to read it in full.
Published: June 17, 2013 by DAVE WAYNE
AAJ: Be Still is so directly emotional, but the really beautiful thing about that record was that every one of the players—Aoife especially—was able to be totally themselves even though the music seemed to exist between two separate worlds that don’t usually intersect. But you got into something really profound there…
DD: It’s not a pose that we’re playing these hymns. We’re not proselytizing for a religion, but we’re not avoiding the spiritual content of the music. We’re not taking an ironic stance, either. Like I said before, we’re not posing with this music. The verses that we sang, and some of the verses that Aoife adapted, were all chosen by my mom. That’s what she wanted us to play at her service. She chose them. And they’re all these universal spiritual tunes that are very uplifting. People have come up to me to tell me that this record got them through some difficult times.
The other thing that people say is “I’m so sorry about your mom.” And that’s nice, but it’s not that sort of album either. It’s not elegiac or sorrowful at all. It’s uplifting. The message that my mom came to, in the end, was “Now I’m moving on to a different place, and I’ll see you there.” It was not “I am going to miss you so much.” It was more along the lines of “This is great, let’s have a celebration, just like we did when you were born.” And that’s reflected in the songs she chose for us to play. It was very, very powerful. And I definitely shed some tears during the making of this record, but they weren’t tears of sorrow… they were tears of joy.
AAJ: Well that was quite palpable in the music. I’ve got to thank you for making that record.
DD: Well, thank you. I’m very proud of it. And now it’s being issued as an LP on heavyweight vinyl, and it sounds incredibly gorgeous. The whole package is really beautiful, with the artwork and all. I see Time Travel as a companion piece. It’s the same musicians, but we’re playing original music and taking it in different directions.
There’s one more thing I’d like to mention about Aoife. You’ll notice that a lot of the contexts in which she has to sing are quite harmonically challenging and rich. And some of her entrances are really, really difficult. You really have to know what’s going on to come in with a vocal entrance on a very interesting note [laughs] in the middle of a musical phrase with Matt Mitchell improvising all these wild harmonies all around you. She really hung with us on the highest musical level. It wasn’t like we were bringing a “singer” into the band. It was like having another musician in the band. And we’ve done a bunch of live shows with her and she’s constantly operating at the highest musical level.