We had the chance to talk to Hedvig Mollestad who plays with her Trio as part of the Spectrum festival in Dublin on March 10th. We asked her about her musical background, as her father was a jazz musician and also her musical influences. You can see the results below!
SPECTRUM creative music for curious ears.
DUBLIN March 10-12th 2017
SPECTRUM live : Dans Dans (BE) & Hedvig Mollestad Trio (NO)
March 11th – 8pm, The Opium Rooms | Tickets €16/13 – Tickets available here
You grew up in a house surrounded by music, as your father was a musician. How do you think this influenced you?
When you grow up in an environment where those you learn from listen to and perform music, I think it becomes something you are familiar with on a more profound level. To some, it means that the specific interest is already taken, and that you have to find an interest you can call your own. To me, it became something of value, that was considered important and music and musicians was something you treated with respect. My mother had a more playful approach to music, enjoying it more on a more primal level, dancing, singing, laughing, but to my father, this was very serious shit. He couldn’t listen to music as background music, then he had to ask if the music could be turned off. He respected the music and the work of the musicians too much to let it be in the background. Although I can appreciate music also when I don’t solely listen to it, I have learned a lot from my parents ways of relating to music.
Another side of the story is more specific of course, and that is that the music my father listened to, I ended up liking. Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Oliver Nelson, I still have a very strong relation to the music that I first heard through him. It was a common interest and he took me to concerts. As I grew older, we also played and performed together, and he has never, not once, made me feel like he didn’t enjoy my playing. Although he can be very critical. He is obviously also very generous.
What music influenced you most during your teenage years? What were the albums that really grabbed you?
As a teenager (that is from 13-19, quite some years) I expanded, I never left the jazz, but listened also to grunge and rock. Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. (always on sale in my local music shop, so I always bought them), Nirvana parallel with Neil Young, Jim Hall, Sting, Ralph Towner, even Richard Marx! I had no shame. The albums I listened most in my teens must have been Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ and ‘Vs’. Alongside John Coltranes Ballads, Hendrix’s ‘Are You Experienced’, Wheeler’s ‘Angel Song’, Per ‘Texas’ Johansson’s ‘Alla Mina Kompiser’, Nils Petter Molværs Khmer, a compilation on Jim Hall, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’. Trygve Seims’ ‘Different Rivers’. And Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness.
You studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music. How does this formal education influence the way you make music?
I never felt like the typical jazz student, but I learned some really important stuff spending time with the other students and not least some of the brilliant musicians that were teachers. It doesn’t feel like a formal education, so cold when you say it like that, it feels more like years I’ve spent going deep into music, spending almost all my time in an environment that was brainwashed with music, surrounded by equally focused people. It made be better in every way, and even though I have moved very much away from the things I used to work with there, I still try to remember some of it when I make music.
The Spectrum festival has a variety of styles and sounds. Is it exciting to be part of it? Is there anyone you’ll try to get to see at it?
Sure, any festival that challenges it’s audience should be applauded. It is our first time in Ireland, and I have very little knowledge of the Irish music scene, so I am looking forward to getting to know it better! I’m looking forward to hearing the Belgian guitar trio Dans Dans, I have listened to some of their music, and I am curious how they do it live!