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BILL NEWMAN talks to British clarinettist EMMA JOHNSON


Emma Johnson. Photo: Sheila Rock

How wonderful it is to escape from central London's chaos for the saner reaches of Greenwich where, within a stone's throw of maritime achievements you will discover a line of old-time shops that cater for the connoisseur collector, and learn that just around the corner is Royal Hill with its spacious villas still part of the unchanging architectural landscape. Emma with her husband Chris West, a free-lance double-bass player, live just half way up on the right hand side, removed from the sounds of heavy traffic, ideal as an abode in which to study, practice, create future plans and tie-ups. Chris organizes Emma's website. He's her webmaster, keeping everything up to date with concerts, recordings, organizing the purchase of tickets and CDs.

I hadn't seen any new CD releases for quite a while when, suddenly, two arrived by the same post. Had she been on some kind of sabbatical? 'No, I have been very busy, but 5 years ago ASV said they were not going to renew my contract. I started looking at other companies, then a year later they phoned me - they'd changed their mind having looked at sales figures; everything was fine, they did want to have me back and start making records again! This had delayed the whole process of getting new material out on the market, so I decided it was good to have a break to refresh, rejuvenate, re-think one's career, and although I was worried that it would affect my concerts, that didn't happen because the two things are apart'. Regrettably yes, but I have already aired my views on the subject of artist promotions in M&V.

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Copyright © 11 July 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK





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