Saturday, 14 May 2011

Meet the Musicians: Charlie Cawood

In this series, we get to hear from the musicians themselves. This month, I have interviewed the London-based musician and composer Charlie Cawood. 

Charlie began lessons at the age of 11, studying classical guitar and theory, as well as electric guitar. After GCSEs he skipped A-Levels and went straight to the Guitar Institute, where I became versed in the dark arts of rock fusion and jazz harmony. He has also studied Flamenco, Indian and Chinese music, as well as attended Sound Design courses at Point Blank Music Production school. Hold holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance at the School of Oriental and African Studies. 

1. How long have you been performing and what inspired you to get into music? 
I've been playing music for over 11 years and performing professionally for 6 of them. I was originally inspired by Rock/Metal bands, but a big change occurred when I discovered Indian classical music and flamenco. This naturally led to me getting into all kinds of world music, as well as electronica, contemporary classical and jazz.

2. What or who are your influences? 
Broadly speaking, I'm influenced by any artist who uses their creativity to explore deeper levels of themselves and strives to forge their own individual creative/artistic identity. This includes music, but also literature, film and visual art.

3. What are your all-time favorite albums? 
10,000 Days by Tool
Pandemonium by Killing Joke
Rant in E Minor by Bill Hicks 
Eternal Wheel by Ozric Tentacles
Kid A by Radiohead 
Sing To God by Cardiacs 
Monoliths and Dimensions by Sunn 0))) 
That list is off the top of my head, and totally inadequate!

4. What are you listening to right now?
At the moment, I'm listening quite a bit to an English band called Cardiacs, who, despite their musical and creative brilliance, remain relatively obscure. The last album I listened to was Music of the Mind by an English Jazz musician called Finn Peters. On this album, he creates compositions based on his own brain-wave patterns, to astounding effect. I'm also slowly getting into John Zorn's expansive back catalogue, as well as Cocteau Twins, Amon Tobin and the Master Musicians of Jajouka.

5. Have any upcoming gigs/shows we should know about?
In April, I recently performed a gig with Rachel Hatfield, a singer-songwriter I'm currently working with, as well as at the Turkish Cultural Festival in Tottenham, playing Turkish Gypsy music with clarinettist Nicki Maher. Rehearsals with also be starting soon with Spiders of Destiny, a Frank Zappa cover band I play in, so with any luck we'll be playing live within a few months!

You can hear tracks by Charlie on his MySpace page, listed above.

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