'Music is Infinite' Interview by Joanne Kee on Jazz Australia

Here's an interview with Dave Goodman by Joanne Kee that was originally published on Jazz Australia, 2nd June 2015: http://jazz.org.au/music-is-infinite/

Dave Goodman talks about drums, drumming and workshops with Joanne Kee 

JK: Why are you doing this? 

DG: I’m doing this because I believe in doing as much as I can to enhance the culture of creativity around music and the performing arts in this country and around the world. I’ve been very fortunate to have learned a great deal after receiving music lessons and education from some of the world’s greatest teachers, and so I don’t want the flow of that particular information to stop with me when my life stops. It’s pretty easy to prove with simple mathematics that music is infinite, and over the last 20 years of professional practise and study, I’ve developed a number of systems for myself in order to imbue my work with as many tiny little fragments of this musical infinity as I possibly can. These are systems that anyone can learn. They help people to generate their own music and to keep working on it until they’re happy with it. I know these systems work because I’ve been teaching them to my private students since I graduated with my PhD, and what they’ve been coming up with sounds consistently unique and interesting. I really want to pass this information on intact to as many people around the world as possible, and drum clinics are a great forum in which to do so. 

JK: Is it only for jazz drummers? 

DG: I’m primarily known for my jazz drumming, and jazz drumming is what I’m particularly passionate about. My drum clinics, however, are aimed at anyone simply willing to learn more about drumming, and not just drummers. This is because, across all genres, drumming in general involves a reliable use of improvisation ninety-nine percent of the time, and what I like to talk about are the ways I’ve found helpful in developing my’s improvisational facilities. Improvisation includes a number of aspects such as honing good technique, building and maintaining good repertoire building blocks, and understanding general theoretical components. Although it’s not just for jazz drummers, certainly the material I’ll be covering regarding improvisation will resonate particularly well for anyone familiar with jazz drumming. 

JK: Who is the workshop aimed at? 

DG: Actually, I make a distinction between masterclasses, workshops and clinics. A masterclass is very hands on where each attendee receives individual personal attention and feedback from the instructor throughout. A workshop is more general in that attendees get hands on experience, but not necessarily the direct attention and feedback they’d get in a masterclass. This event is a clinic, and in a clinic, there’s minimal participation from attendees as it’s more about delivering new information in a lecture and demonstration format. One or two people may be asked to perform a thing or two during the afternoon if it helps with the delivery of information. Although anyone of any age and level of experience is welcome, I’m aiming particularly at presenting these ideas to students between 15 and 35 years who are involved in playing music with a band of some sort, be it professional or amateur, and/or who teach students of their own. Actually, ‘amateur’ originally meant ‘lover of something in particular’ and so, ideally, I’m aiming at the amateur drummer in everyone. Again, the main factor is the willingness to learn and to assimilate new things. 

JK: How is Sonor involved? 

DG: Sonor is involved at the core of what I do because they made my drums. I officially began endorsing Sonor drums in 1999 when I was playing every week on national television. My relationship with the company has endured since then, and it’s a partnership that I’m particularly proud of. Since I was very young, I always had a sense that Sonor made the best drums in the world. Since I started playing them, I’ve grown to simply just know this to be fact. Sonor supply me with my drums, which bring the membranophonic part of my musical voice to life. Same for Bosphorus Cymbals: they give life to the idiophonic part of my musical voice by supplying the cymbals that I love to play. In particular, for this event, Sonor and Bosphorus are involved at the level of providing some promotional door prizes for a handful of lucky attendees. 

JK: What can we expect? 

DG: I intend to open and close the afternoon by playing along with a couple of pieces that I’ve composed and programmed into my computer. These serve to put a ‘musical frame’ around the ideas I’ll discuss in the middle, which are densely technical and theoretical in nature. I may play an unaccompanied solo depending on how I feel on the day, but my main interest in setting up such an event is in helping people get closer to their their own music through education, and not to try and bedazzle anyone with my drum solos. I’ll have a printed handout that everyone can take home to digest and I will demonstrate the material in those handouts. People can expect to come away with some concrete tools with which to become better drummers, and to get closer to the music they love to play. You can also expect this to be a great opportunity to hang out and rub shoulders with other like-minded drummers. 

JK: Plans for the future? 

DG: For the future, I plan to regularly and continually originate more of my own creative works, to lead my own bands, and to educate musicians as this is my vocation in life, and I really enjoy doing this kind of work. My jazz quartet will actually be performing at the same venue the night before the clinic, and I’ll be leaving my drums set up overnight. What a luxury! I’d like to keep developing new compositions for my band, and for my solo clinic presentations, and to take these around the country and around the world in a similar format. I’m also involved in producing a series of video lessons that are for sale exclusively through my website. These really give me the opportunity to preserve the essence of the best of everything I’ve been taught across a range of drumset disciplines, and I plan to make many more of these available over time. 

I’m in the throes of recording and marketing my solo pieces, which I’m releasing one at a time exclusively on my website. When enough pieces have been produced, I will compile them into volumes of albums over time. 

Currently I’m researching funding avenues that will help me to satisfactorily record, produce and release my quartet’s first album, as well as my first solo album. I also plan to set up a number of masterclasses and workshops for different applications as I described earlier. I could spend every waking minute of the rest of my life, and yours Joanne, on exploring the infinitude of what music truly has to offer us all, and I will not even have scratched the surface of what’s possible by the time I draw my last breath. It’s true that the best is yet to come. 

Two-hour drum clinic in Sydney 

from 1:00 PM on Saturday 20th June 2015 

Venue 505, 280 Cleveland St, Surry Hills. 

Further details and tickets are available from: 

http://davegoodman.com.au/event/1249754/150903030/dave-goodman-drum-clinic

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