ISSN 2605-2318


Interview with Adam Ben Ezra


Entrevista. Se encuentra en un fantástico momento artístico. Hemos hablado con él y esto es lo que nos ha contado. Interview. He is in a fantastic artistic moment. We talked to him and this is what he told us.

1. Ruth Prieto: Who is Adam Ben Ezra?

Adam Ben Ezra: I'm a composer, multi-instrumentalist and a double bass player who tries to push the limits of the bass as far as I can.

2. R.P.: Which characteristic defines you best?

Adam Ben Ezra: I guess that determination defines me the best. I have an endless devotion to my music, whether it's by practicing my bass and other instruments for long hours or by seeking to compose something new and fresh every time.

3. R.P.: What is your DNA as a composer?

Adam Ben Ezra: The basic foundation which I follow as a composer is to keep a coherent flow of the musical story in the piece. I see a piece of music like a story you read with an opening, rising action, catharsis and a resolution in the end. My main purpose in composing music is to allow people to have an emotional experience.
"I try to be as versatile as I can with sounds, rhythms and styles so the listeners will have a wide spectrum of feeling"

4. R.P.: What are your musical roots (real or imaginary)?

Adam Ben Ezra: My first musical exposure was within classical music since I started to play violin at the age of 5. That was when I began to shape my approach for melody phrasing. A few years later I moved on to play rock, pop and jazz and that is when I learnt the art of improvising and playing in a group. On top of that, all of my grandparents were born in Arabic countries like Iraq, Yemen and Turkey, so they brought with them the flavours and sounds of Arabic music and language which I'm very inspired by. In my music I try to combine all of these musical styles in order to explore my personal distinctive sound.

5. R.P.: What inspires you as a composer/artist and why?

Adam Ben Ezra: Whenever I listen to a good song, a musical piece or even a player with a distinctive technique, I get inspired. It always gives me new ideas I can use in my own compositions and this is how I expand my spectrum of sound. I'm also very inspired by authentic music that comes from different parts of the world. For example there is the Indian singing technique where they pronounce the notes they are singing, but instead of “Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si” they sing “Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni”. I took this way of singing but I adapted the sounds of the syllables so it would sound more Middle Eastern. The outcome is a “language” that sounds like a mixture of Arabic, Indian and Persian.

6. R.P.: What is your main obsession when working?

Adam Ben Ezra: I don't know if I would call it an obsession but when I work I seek for authenticity in the flow of the melody and the music. It is hard to describe it, but every note must lead to the next note in the most natural way and the harmony should accompany the melody in the most genuine and not pretentious way.

7. R.P.: Could you describe your creative process?

Adam Ben Ezra: Usually every piece of music starts with me improvising. I continue to improvise until I stumble upon a musical idea that seems to me like the source of a larger piece. It could be a groove, melodic motive or an interesting chord progression and once I find it I start to improvise around it. Slowly slowly I develop the melody and always come back to the beginning of it to feel if the flow is natural. Basically I play the piece over and over again in order to find the best way to deliver the musical idea: melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and groove wise.

8. R.P.: What are you working on now?

Adam Ben Ezra: Right now I'm working to expand my solo show. When I am live on stage I use all kinds of electronic effects on my bass so it can sound like other instruments. I use loop pedals in order to record my playing in different layers, this gives me a larger sound and more interesting arrangements, especially since I play solo.

"Now I'm trying to connect everything to a computer program
which will give me many more options of looping and sounds
including electronic beats and sound effects"

9. R.P.: If you had not been a composer, what would you like to have been?

Adam Ben Ezra: I guess that I would have been a teacher. I can be very supportive, attentive and patient with people and I know how to deliver an idea well so that the student can really internalize it.
10. R.P.: What does silence sound like?

Adam Ben Ezra: There is no such thing as a complete silence, there always something moving in the air that will make a rustle. I guess that the role of silence in a musical piece is to bring the actual sound of the room where it's being played, that's how the music breaths.

11. R.P.: Have you got a composer of reference or someone who made a special impression on you as a composer?

Adam Ben Ezra: In the classical music field the main composer I'm inspired by is J.S. Bach. The polyphony of Bach's music is incredible and genius. I've learnt a lot by playing Bach's fugues and especially by playing his solo pieces like the cello suits. By playing that I’ve really developed my solo composing technique using different melody lines that accompany and complete each other. In the Jazz field I'm very inspired by Chick Corea. His music is so diversified and I am very inspired by the way he combines Jazz with Classical and Spanish flavours.
12. R.P.: What are your next projects?

Adam Ben Ezra: I'm currently writing music for my next album. My two latest albums were very different from each other and this is something I try to aim for. The first one “Can't stop running" was recorded with my trio while the second one “Pin Drop” is a complete solo live session was recorded in front of a live audience. I'm planning that my next album will be solo but not live, involving all kinds of instruments that I play with electronic sounds.
The photos by Paolo Galletta are from Adam's website

More information at Adam's website


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