Thursday 24 March 2016
Interview with David Lynch and Giotis Kiourtsoglou of Human Touch in Linto
Editor: Gogo Dimopoulou
G.D.: What was it that kept you in Greece Mr. Lynch?
David Lynch: I grew up in California and when I was about 20 I left to live experiences outside America. I left some things behind and decided to travel to different countries, mainly in Europe, not knowing where I would end up or for how long. I had never decided that I would stay in Greece, simply when starting my journey I had in my mind that I would stay in one place for as long as I felt it inside me that I should. When I came to Greece, I felt strongly an inside match that was what I was looking for, that was something intimate, something more direct, human and simple. Although I attempt many changes, I do not like the "shelling" of information. I'm a simple man in general.
G.D.: What is it that you believe Greek discography lacks?
David Lynch: Unfortunately in Greece there is the case of "you are what you claim to be". What one seems to be outweighs what one actually is. This applies to discography as well as other fields. True professionalism in its real sense is missing but also responsibility both towards this field and us. This does not mean that there is no talent, good musicians and good voices. It is preferable in my opinion to claim less of what you are, than claim more.
G.D.: Which partnerships have been special to you all these years of your musical life?
David Lynch: They are many and I am lucky to be able to single out a lot. I will refer to them in general. Wherever I see that there are people in the music field with truth and humility that go deeper-not in the sense of "culture lover", but when for example they go through all the emotional levels and phases, like feeling defeated, powerless, and free- then I feel that there is sincerity and substance. Unfortunately many singers have a tendency to be more concerned with appearance and glory, rather than the music subject itself, so those partnerships I do not single out.
G.D.: Mr Kiourtsoglou, you have participated in many festivals abroad. Do you believe that corresponding festivals in Greece have made steps?
Giotis Kiourtsoglou: Greece has made huge strides. I remember that one of the first jazz festivals was that of Thessaloniki, which was international, and also the one in Patras. Other than that, there has been a huge jump ahead in the festival. Even several islands have their own festivals and indeed, they are highly sought after. The only problem is that it is difficult to last in time, because they are not subsidized. When they cannot be financially supported, then it is hard to include musicians from other countries. In festivals abroad there are sponsors who finance the artistic part and the ticket proceeds go to the people who organize them. Despite this difficulty, we have nothing to envy. My only wish is for those festivals to continue to exist, because there have been many efforts and with great public response and love.
G.D.: You appeared in Jazz & World stage of the festival Little Paris of Athens. Tell us about that experience.
Giotis Kiourtsoglou: The guys’ effort is excellent and I liked it because it reminded me a little of foreign festivals. Apart from the very good organization, the venue I played at was of historic meaning. It was the shop in the film The Bakalogatos. I guess that this effort must continue.
G.D.: Human touch as a band count many years. In what do you attribute this fact?
David Lynch: We match and in the end, as it is evident, we have grown musically together. Respect was there from the very beginning. We had met at projects that were not ours and we could see that this trio always "stuck". So we thought that the three of us could eventually go wherever we wanted. When we decided to start as Human Touch, a trio of our own, we felt that we bonded more. We played in The Alabaster in Athens once a week for seven years, which enabled us to experiment often and so we gained trust. We have seen that “the ball does not drop” and that someone will always catch it. This trust is what can make a band stay together after all. It is also important that we do not play the same (songs) and in the same way every time. We want to be risky even if more mistakes are sometimes made. In order for a relationship to last, it needs something fresh.
Giotis Kiourtsoglou: The respect that we share is essential. I think that admiration is still there among us. I admire Stavros and David for their musicality. After all this, I feel that I continue learning. Bands are a group of people that remind us of a marriage. To last in time they go through friction, egos appear, but after a certain point there comes the communion and by learning each other better, you start respecting them as well as their space. It is like there has been an apartment arrangement and everyone has found their place. Within the course of 19 to 20 years trust settled among us. Trust is an important element which makes you let yourself be led in musical places that you were not aware of. With all these ingredients all these years common work and our friendship have remained strong.
G.D.: Improvisation is a significant part of your live performances with Human Touch. However, how easy is it to improvise with a new partner on stage?
David Lynch: Because a large part of jazz music is based on improvisation, us musicians create codes. Improvisation is an international language in which musicians learn about harmony and can understand each other. So, being with a new partner on stage, all it takes is for them to be knowledgeable enough, to share common codes and to have cultivated the ability to listen and respond to music on instinct. They should not act selfishly, which means not having the insecurity to look better than their partner. But it is always important that ones’ aesthetics match. When all this is there, improvisation happens easily and music is expressed effortlessly.
Giotis Kiourtsoglou: Improvisation is a great matter. In jazz music there is not only the atonal or abstract. Improvisation occupies much of jazz. There is the improvisation of “I do not know something so I improvise," and the predesigned improvisation-the improvisation with a form. The kind that I admire is disciplined improvisation, which comes from knowledge- you have first learned one thing well and then you “break" the rule. Music is another format of language, which has rules. In other words, you need your space to talk, and you have to give space to someone to talk to you and then to listen to them, to coexist with one another, to understand via your antennas what it is they want.
G.D.: What are we to expect by each of you in the future, and also what are the Human Touch future plans?
David Lynch: We are a bit weird with plans. We do not know what we can expect. We very much desire to have someone that represents us abroad in order to be able to do more tours and more often. Of course, each of us individually writes, but as Human Touch we are somewhere in the middle of a recording. Also, at the moment we are on a tour in Greece, which began today and about 15 cities will follow by the end of the tour.
Giotis Kiourtsoglou: There comes the time that is now that some ripe things will come out. I have been preparing some of my own songs, but as Human Touch we also have material for two albums. The most important things are your presence, to continuously play, which also creates new things.