Interviews with James Gibson

Following are excerpts from numerous interviews which have taken place over the past few years. All the interviewers are labeled '?' .

?       Who is your favorite composer? Aside from yourself, that is. (Laughter)
JG     I'm not sure how often I make it onto my list of favorites! It is a difficult question to answer      because it can change from day to day, and there never is a clear number one favorite. I think I would always have to include Palestrina, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Chopin, Schumann, Dvorak, Debussy, Janacek, Sibelius, Messiaen...and many others. Plus songwriters who are, after all, composers....Brian Wilson, Gordon Lightfoot, Tish Hinojosa, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwartz, John Lennnon, Bob Dylan and so many others.

?        When was the last time you shed a tear while listening to music?
JG      The last time I watched Les Miserables on tv.

?         Is it true that music is always playing in your head?
JG       I think so. Sometimes I feel as if I have experienced true and complete silence.....but then I visualize the tune or passage that has just been sitting there, waiting for me to recognize it. But it never bothers me. Music in my head never blocks out anything else. It is as if the music exists in its own separate brain. Ironically, I love silence. The music occurs at all different levels of volume and intensity.

?          As a pianist or conductor, or even as an actor, where is your favorite place to perform?
JG       Anywhere outdoors.

?         Favorite instrument? ...and favorite voice range?
JG      Many instruments.....probably flute, clarinet, piano, English horn....bells...children singing.

?         What different art do you wish you could do better?
JG       Dance. I think I am a good choreographer, quite creative at times. But I am not a dancer. Acrobatics....that would be amazing!....Or be a better singer. I know how to sing; I have taught singers for decades. I am fine with my own folk-rock songs. But I don't have a great operatic voice. That would be nice.

?          Other favorites? Animal, plant, country, food, number, mode of transport, sport?
JG       Wandering albatross, or whales...daisy...Italy...pasta....multiple numbers like 11 and 333 and 7777...       

?           Favorite and least favorite words?
JG         Love........No.

?           Your favorite musicals?
JG         Godspell...Les Mis...Evita...Cats...Carousel...Sound of Music.

?            Is competition important in the arts?
JG          It has an important purpose of building strength and persistence...but ultimately, the arts
               should always be shared, a unifying experience...not one that divides people. I don't much
               care for competitions, especially the tv contest shows which can destroy a young person's
               ego. Career dreams have been crushed that way.

?            What is your dream for AcquaTroupe?
JG          To share our performing skills and ideas and creativity with people in every country.

?             Is there a specific goal for Henry the Sixth Part I, your new opera?
JG           I'd love to see it performed in England or France, where the story takes place.

?             What, or who, inspires you the most?
JG  family, friends....anything that is truly beautiful.....laughter.

        The next set of excerpts from interviews with James will focus on his broad views on music in history, in the future, in healing, and in society. 



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