A Real Journey
Janie Price har spillet på Roskilde Festivalen som trommeslager sammen med Kenneth Bager i 2007, og på Copenhagen Jazzhouse i ’09 med cello og egne numre under navnet Bird.
I samarbejde med BBC, som har produceret en slags ’reality-tv’ over begivenheden, har Janie Price rejst Europa rundt med celloen som eneste betalingsmiddel i et forsøg på at afdække, hvordan det bogstaveligt talt er muligt at leve af sin kunst. Det er der både kommet et spændende dokumentarprogram til britisk tv og en bog ud af.
I bogen A Real Journey fortæller Janie Price om de oplevelser, hun og hendes makker måtte igennem – uden dankort, penge eller mulighed for at ringe til en ven – på en tur fra Athen i Grækenland til Edinburgh i Skotland. En tur, der varede seks uger, og hvor alle udgifter til mad og transport skulle dækkes ved de penge, Janie Price og hendes makker kunne skaffe ved at udøve deres kunst på gaden.
Rejsen endte med at handle om en masse andre ting end netop musikken og kunsten, men hele tiden stod mennesket og kunstneren Janie Price i centrum af begivenhederne, og i nærværende interview fortæller Price om nogle af de tanker, der blev sat i gang i forbindelse med den rejse, der både var en fysisk rejse men også en mental dannelsesrejse for hende selv som person.
Interviewet med Janie Price er både en introduktion til tv-programmet og bogen, som omhandler rejsen, men er også en appetitvækker til alle, der har lyst til at høre om en noget utraditionel, men stærkt inspirerende rejse gennem Europa, hvor de menneskelige møder ender med at være i fokus. Til jer, der kender Janie Price aka Bird, vil dette interview være en lille lækkerbisken.
Diskant: Describe in an overall perspective the meaning of music to you.
Janie Price: I started playing cello at the age of six so I learnt it at the same time as learning to read and write, it feels like a completely natural and integral part of me. As a result it has also had a huge affect on me as I have always naturally wanted to play and find ways to work with music.
Diskant: Is your music popular, or is it experimental?
Janie Price: I think it is both. I unashamedly love pop music but I also feel a lot of it is too safe. I like pushing the boundaries a bit, like making my last album using only a cello and my voice.
Diskant: What is your ambition with your music?
Janie Price: To be making and enjoying it until the day I die and hopefully entertain a few people along the way.
Diskant: Are you trying to bridge different aspects of art by putting yourself to a contest like this?
Janie Price: There is definitely an element of that – but less trying to bridge and more finding a platform as I also have a degree in art and have studied extensively the relationships between music and art, the program gave me a platform to work on the combination of the two in a new way.
Diskant: What goals did you set for yourself, before the journey?
Janie Price: To finish it! The challenge set was quite enough, I didn’t need to put any further personal pressure on myself.
Diskant: What about your music, and about the aspect of art as a remedy in communicating with the World?
Janie Price: It taught me music was much more of a personal friend to me than I had thought. Away from all the pressure of labels and business I got to just enjoy playing and also took solace from sitting playing alone on the days when the challenge was particularly tough. As a means of communication I also realized how music has an ability to act a bit mike the first glass of wine on a first date. People would hear a song and then happily approach me or vice versa. It opened a line of communication that transcended the normal language barriers.
Diskant: Has the cello a certain grip on people?
Janie Price: I read once that the cello resonates in frequency more closely than any other instrument to the human voice. I think that gives it a powerful ability to sneak under people’s skin and touch them.
Diskant: How has the journey affected you as a musician?
Janie Price: As a musician I have not changed, but I have been working in a different experiment direction with my sub project Painting with Music (the cd is available to buy via my website www.janieprice.co.uk)
Diskant: As a person?
Janie Price: As a person I am less fearful of the unknown and more open minded about people.
Diskant: Why should a Dane read your book or watch the documentary about your journey?
Janie Price: It is relevant to all nations – the challenge is really about looking at how human beings from different countries interact, it is about exploring how art affects us all and looks at subsequent acts of human random kindness, universal topics definitely not confined to a British audience!
Diskant: If you should pick out one particular event from the journey that stands out, which one would it be?
Janie Price: That’s very tough there were so many, the night we had nothing in Zurich, had slept rough the night before and were sharing a pint between us in a downtown Irish bar though was a fantastic example of human kindness, so many people from different cultures all listening to our story and all of them helped in some way and there wasn’t a member of our film crew or camera in sight…it made me feel very optimistic about the human race again.
Diskant: Is there any chance we will see you perform in Denmark in the nearest future?
Janie Price: I would love to – just waiting for an invite!