Is a little insanity good for the creative process?
D C RUIZ of New Music.net talks to Paul Minotto
about the primeTime Sublime Community Orchestra
A butcher, a baker, a mortician, a housewife, a plumber and other
nonprofessional musicians dressed up as clowns performing contemporary classical
'new music'? Well, yes. Why not? The primeTime sublime Community Orchestra
is not really a community orchestra; that is, if you think of a community orchestra
as a group
of Sunday musicians who play in tune most of the time, getting together to
murder 'The Classics' for the shallow entertainment of unenlightened listeners.
This group plays original 'tunes' or rather 'pieces' that cover most of the
major genres of twentieth century music and then some, all encapsulated in a
contemporary classical avant-garde (is there such a thing?) framework. From
popular music genres to various folk musics to film score and cartoon
soundtracks -- any style is fair game.
The artistic director for this multi-genre, new music ensemble is Paul Minotto.
I spoke with him at his home studio in New Jersey, USA.
The primeTime Sublime Community Orchestra
[D C Ruiz] How did you first get interested in music?
[Paul Minotto] I had always liked music as a kid starting around seven or eight
years old with my Bubblegum Pop records by groups such as the Ohio Express, the
1910 Fruitgum Company, the Archies, people like that. When I was twelve, I saw a
commercial for a set of records called Superstars of the 70s by Ronco on TV.
One of the excerpts they played was Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix. I literally
had an epiphany or some kind of spiritual orgasm. I went to Kmart and got the
45 of Foxy Lady and on the other side was Purple Haze. I was hooked. After
buying all the Hendrix records I could find, I wanted to learn the guitar.
Eventually I got good enough to play in rock bands. I even learned how to play
the guitar with my teeth, just like Hendrix. All the little girls seemed to
[D C Ruiz] How did you get interested in orchestral music and other genres?
[Paul Minotto] After Hendrix, I was introduced to the music of Frank Zappa.
Through Zappa's influence, my tastes in music became much more varied. I played
contrabass clarinet in the school Concert Band, guitar in the Jazz Big Band,
percussion in the school orchestra and I began to write music. After high
school, I taught myself piano and saxophone and worked in Top 40 bands around
Atlanta and the southeast.
Yes and keyboards.
Copyright © 26 September 2003
D C Ruiz, USA