Ahead of this week's #firstfriday performance from Unfurl at The Hall. LJF's Youth Blogger Luke Adams catches up with bandleader and violinist Olivia Moore.
Firstly, how did you develop such a unique sound?
In our approach, it is not other bands or individuals that have influenced us, but other styles and cultures, and we believe this helps draw in current and new listeners who have an appetite for the unusual. The percussionist uses Flamenco influences on the cahonne, but his main influence is Arabic Music on the riq and darbouka. The santoor/tabla player, along with myself, draws from Indian music. Western classical music and jazz also inspire me, as they do the bassist and guitarist. We use all these influences to create music which bring in audiences from across these different genres.
Is there something you always aim to convey to an audience when you play?
The aim of the band is to bring together all our individual influences to create music which is new, fresh and original. It is also important to us that audience members feel relaxed in our performance as well as rejuvenated and inspired.
How would you describe the music that you play?
I would describe it as Indian Style Jazz, or you could call it Fusion music.
As a band, have there been any groups or musicians that you would say have directly inspired you ?
Jim Faulkner, the guitarist and I are big fans of John McLaughlin from the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti. I am also particularly inspired by Kala Ramnath who I have had lessons from in India. Gavin, the bass player is a huge fan of bass legend Jaco Pastorious. John is inspired by santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma and his Tabla teacher Yogesh Samsi. Adam is a huge fan of the group Dead can dance and Glen Velez, the fantastic World percussionist.
How do you arrange the music? Do you rely on lead sheets or is it a more personal communication between you all?
Most of our music has a structure (which is mapped out on the Lead Sheets) but then there is also room for improvisation, soloing and interplay between the musicians.