Musicians are natural boundary-crossers. While most composers, performers, and listeners start out loving a particular musical tradition, few ultimately limit themselves to one idiom. They are constantly seeking out new sounds and singing new songs, re-imagining old genres and conceiving new forms. Interstitial musicians don’t confine themselves to listening to only one kind of music, and everything they hear – be it Jazz, Klezmer, Afro-Pop, Gamelan, Leider, Hindustani music, Samba, Birdsongs, Bossa Nova, Beethoven, Bebop or (sure, why not?) Britney Spears – becomes part of their toolkit. Even the instruments range from the traditional to the almost inexplicable, the rewired circuitry of children’s mechanical toys and the scratched vinyl of a spin DJ’s eclectic performance. The IAF is here to give support to musicians who work between or across musical categories and traditions.
On these pages contributors present an ongoing selection of musicians and composers, old and new; of well known musicians and those whose very Interstitiality may have kept them from the public ear.
GEOFFREY LONG, 2010
“Although I love to put Keating’s albums on while working, it’s almost impossible for me to do any writing when ‘Legions (Reverie)’ from Natoma begins because it always hijacks some primal subarchitecture of my brain, and it’s the end of the album before I realize my fingers have stopped typing and I’m staring off into space. It’d be infuriating if the music wasn’t so damned lovely.”
JORGE SOCARRAS, 2010
“A couple of years ago while in Rio, upon returning to my hotel from my first hang-gliding experience, I found an email from two gentlemen in Berlin. They explained that they’d come upon an old master tape with Patrick’s and my name on it. Attached was a jpeg image of the reel box, and I instantly recognized the handwritten scrawl: Catholic. Apparently, they’d been blown away by the tracks and wanted to release them on their music label. I couldn’t believe the tape was extant, no less how on earth it had gotten to Germany, or these gentlemen had tracked me down. That in itself comprises a long, serendipitous story, but the result was that the Catholic album finally did get released late in 2009 – thirty years after Patrick and I had made our first attempt.”
CECIL CASTELLUCCI, 2010
“I knew he was a cool guy when he rolled up in this car that sported a Pixies bumper sticker, had a few guitars with him and then proposed that some of us fellows (composer Peter Wyer, writer Jamie Quatro and me) form a cover band to play at the local pub for open mic night. But I became even more intrigued when he talked at our nightly family style dinners about the piece he was working on based on Hunter S. Thompson and then presented some of his Haiku works at Colony Hall. I said to myself, this guy is totally interstitial!”
WARREN SENDERS, 2004
“What amazes me about Willy Schwarz is the meta-cultural tightrope act he carries out every day with such ease and grace. I’ve never met anyone so completely at home in so many different places. Name a country; it’s a pretty good bet that Willy knows, not just a song or two, but a solid evening’s worth of performable repertoire.”
Here is an ongoing list of interstitial recordings recommended by diverse contributors. These are works that do not fit neatly into any one category, often driving the music marketers crazy. Different contributors have different ideas about what makes a piece of music interstitial, which is why we have asked them to annotate and sign their recommendations.