We asked George Lewis to write a new work for our upcoming Mix event on Sunday 3 April at The Coronet Theatre. His answer: Tales of the Traveler for solo guitar and ensemble, including improvised sections written especially for Fred Frith, who George has described as “one of the most innovative guitarists of this or any age.”
Ahead of the event, we set Fred our quickfire questions:
What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?
Survival. And the privilege of being able to do what I love with the people I love.
What do you fear?
Losing that privilege.
Which piece of music has had the biggest effect on you?
Luciano Berio’s Visage – with the stunning voice of Cathy Berberian – concretely changed my idea of what it meant to ‘compose’ and to ‘perform’. Around the same time Charles Mingus’ Town Hall Concert taught me about the beauty and challenge of unfinished and unpredictable work.
What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
Playing charango in a print shop, with the artist Helen Mirra playing the printing press (now available as Kwangsi – Quail). Well, there are so many…
What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
A blank yellow post-it pad, a pencil, an empty coffee cup, the program of the fascinating student concert I attended last night…
What was the first recording you ever bought?
Guitar Boogie Shuffle, Bert Weedon. I learned to play it on the violin (didn’t play guitar at the time).
Describe yourself in three words.
Must try harder.
If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
After my parents, my many wonderful colleagues and co-conspirators, most notably my partner Heike Liss.
Tell us your best musical joke
So many drummers, so little time.