Junior's Cave Music Interview with Fusion Guitarist, Noshir Mody.
In our third online conversation with Mody, the artist gives our online publication updates on what he has been doing, a little more about his personal life, and the gift of his music. Here is what formulated for our delightful spotlight.
Isaac: I would like to ask you for the readers of this online publication who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:
Noshir: Melodic, narrative, improvisational, engaging and immersive.
Isaac: With respect to musical icons, who would you consider to be your most significant musical influences?
Noshir: Right now I’m very taken up with the work of Trilok Gurtu and Keith Jarrett. It’s always hard for me to narrow down this list to a few names as over the years I have heard and been influenced by a lot of great music and musicians. I seem to have most significant influences during specific periods of my life. When I started playing guitar, Al Di Meola was my biggest influence and then for a while after that, all I listened to was Satriani and Vai. Following that period, I was absorbed in the works of John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Zakir Hussain, Joe Zawinul and Miles Davis. More recently I have been intently listening to and enjoying the works of Ulf Wakenius. I don’t think there is any one artist that has been the primary influence on my sound or style.
Isaac: Do you have a favorite song to play from your collection so far?
Noshir: “Under A Starlit Sky" – I love how our performance of this song has matured. I recorded this song on my 2008 solo album “In This World With You" but when the group performs it now – the result is quite explosive, with a big dynamic range and sections that develop in tension and intensity. Performing in these improvisational settings without locking down the arrangements makes the songs appear to have a life of their own. They continue to grow and develop as different musicians and approaches are used in presenting them…
Isaac: I am interested to know who you are listening to at the moment. What bands and artists should we have our ears on right now who you think deserve the spotlight?
Noshir: Currently, I’m engrossed in the albums “21 Spices" by Trilok Gurtu with Simon Phillips and the NDR big band and Keith Jarrett’s “Sleeper" with Garbarek, Danielsson and Christensen. I am also loving Dhafer Youssef ‘s “Abu Navas Rhapsody" and on the singer-songwriter front I am enjoying “The Ash and Clay" by The Milk Carton Kids. Great albums in my opinion, that deserve to be heard and enjoyed.
Isaac: Since you write your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
Noshir: My inspirations come from living life. Nothing out of the ordinary, the simple but meaningful moments – I’m sure all of us encounter them – moments of love, loss, laughter, conflict, imagination, hope, etc. It’s magical for me when subsequently melodies or harmonic progressions with varied rhythms appear, as if on their own, and recreate the sentiment of that moment – I love that part of the process.
Isaac: If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?
Noshir: Sharing the stage with Trilok Gurtu or Zakir Hussain would be amazing-
Isaac: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?
Noshir: I love the process of discovery – be it through meeting people or travelling or being introduced to new cultures and cuisines. I guess I would be seeking out venues for new experiences.
Isaac: Now for our non-music question: Name five things you can’t live without?
Noshir: In no particular order…love, loved ones, purpose, sustenance and art.
Isaac: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into when you are performing or on the road that you can let us in on?
Noshir: Oh this is going back many years – I was inebriated and took the stage at a producer’s showcase and I have no idea how the rest of the night developed.
Isaac: Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?
Noshir: No. I was much younger and had just gone through some tough circumstances and looking back I guess it was a pathetic play for attention. I got none and in fact ended up alienating people more than attracting any sympathy or empathy.
Isaac: If you were not performing, what do you think you would be doing professionally and why?
Noshir: I actually stopped performing and recording for almost seven years. Even though I was successful professionally, it somehow did not feel right. There was a void. I have a background in engineering and I’m good at it so that’s an obvious choice – however not having music as a means to express myself would present a pretty dull existence for me.
Isaac: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Noshir: At this stage of my life I try to keep it simple – use your common sense and be compassionate.
Isaac: Ten years from now you will be….
Noshir: ….still persevering to make great, thought provoking art.
Isaac: As a sendoff, tell us about one of your greatest moments as a performer.
Noshir: I have had many moments as a performer that have been very meaningful and memorable to me but I don’t really think of any of them as my greatest moments. One special moment that I can recall is after one of my shows with the quintet, at a jazz club in midtown Manhattan, a very distinguished looking lady approached me to thank me for the show and to take a picture with me. She turned out to be an ambassador to the United Nations and as her friend took the picture, she informed me that she was going to put that picture up on her wall, right next to the one with her and Chick Corea. That made my day.
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Ist Interview with our publication:
2nd Interview with our publication: