Eberhard Weber in Lucerne, Switzerland
22 January 1940 |
|Instruments||Electric upright bass
Double bass, cello
|Associated acts||Jan Garbarek, Kate Bush
Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner
|Website||Eberhard Weber on ECM|
|Custom 5-string electric upright bass|
I was afraid the other musicians might want to present themselves too much, though I see in the coverage I've received of the album that the musicians got wonderful reviews for their contributions and abilities. I think the four musicians played freely within my limits.
In 1972, I got my first electric bass and started playing the kind of instrument I play now. I found that the majority of musicians couldn't bear that. They are not used to listening to the bass because they think the bass is in the background to support them.
If there is a good musical reason, I think it might draw more attention and sell, though it is not guaranteed. To make a record without a musical reason, you have to either be a pop star who sells automatically or just be lucky.
Whenever I release a record, it's my record. It's not a selfish thought. I may work all year 'round for other people. So, finally, when I come out with my own album, it should be me with the creative help of other musicians.
I realized pretty soon that I have to do more than just play bass in the background way. So, I developed a kind of playing which only a handful of musicians accepted.
Orchestras are not used to playing the kind of stuff jazz musicians like to play. It requires a lot of rehearsal and recording time, so it's much easier to do on a synth or sampler. So, we came up with that idea.
Orchestra had a little brass ensemble on two tracks as well, but the rest was me. I knew I couldn't continue in this direction, even if people liked it, because I can only duplicate myself.
As a result, I had to get my own playground which was my band Colours. This band lasted for about eight years and then the air was out of it and it was time to finish.
On the other hand, when I give it closer thought, I realize I'm not enough of a dictator to conduct an orchestra because it requires a pretty awful person. When you read these biographies of famous conductors, they are all awful people who fail in their private relationships.
The problem is that I don't want to add another record to the world that is not necessary to be published, except to make some business. There has to be a musical reason.
When I think back now to the recording sessions, there is more improvisation than one hears. It's an ideal combination of arrangements and improvisation. Only a few people are able to listen and say what is composed and what is improvised. It's a unit.
There are always some doubts when you do a new album though. You wonder whether you succeeded or not, especially when you waited as long as I did for this one – seven years. You're never really sure if it will be a nice record or not.
On the other hand, I'm very tolerant as well. I expect that everybody can play what they want. I'm only not tolerant when it comes to myself and what is presented on my album that I have to listen to for the rest of my life.
At the time, I didn't know that bass would not be enough for me. I'm not a bass player because bass is always a background instrument even to this very day.
I am a classical music lover – not necessarily the contemporary stuff, but the old stuff.
It's better to finish at the peak or soon after it, than to wait until the audience notices a decline.
I like to create the music I hear in my interior. As a conductor, you have the ability to squeeze the sounds and interpretation you asked for from 50 to 80 people.