Saturday, May 4, 2013

Interview - Alexis Cairns

Last week I caught up with Alexis Cairns for a chat about her album and what she is up to at the moment. If you have not had the chance to listen to her album, it is all original compositions, with varied infulences, well worth a listen. Photo Credit Gavin Freeborn Mark Beirne-Smith - So why the debut album now?Alexis Cairns - I graduated from Leeds College of Music in 2006 and started teaching a year later. I have always enjoyed composing and one of the benefits of teaching is the long holidays in the summer, so I began writing for the album in the summer of 2009 and finished in 2010. We then recorded the album in April 2011.
Mark Beirne-Smith - Where was the band formed?Alexis Cairns -  We all went to LCM but at different times; Al and I were in the same year. I had seen all three guys perform live with other projects and was impressed with their playing and interaction with others. Emlyn and I had done one or two trio gigs beforehand and I shared a house with Kris for a short time.
Mark Beirne-Smith - What is this album saying?Alexis Cairns - I wanted to get back into writing and do something creative alongside my day job. Eight of the tunes were written over the two summers and the other two during my time at college. Some were inspired by what was happening at the time of composing, for example “To Have and to Hold” came about when my sister was wedding dress shopping in Leeds.
Mark Beirne-Smith - What would you say were your influences?Alexis Cairns -  Not only do I enjoy composing but I am a saxophonist first and foremost. I am a huge fan of Michael Brecker and have been since I was at school. I would love to be able to play just half as good as him! I got into John Coltrane a lot when I was at college, listening to Blue Train, Giant Steps and Coltrane's Sound on a loop for months on end. Other players I admire are Cannonball Adderley, Bob Berg and Dexter Gordon. Composition-wise I enjoy listening to works by Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis and Joey Calderazzo.

This is New to Me cover art
Photo Credit Gavin Freeborn
Mark Beirne-Smith - Where can the album be bought?Alexis Cairns - - It can be bought via BandCamp
or if anyone wants the physical CD they can email me via my website, and receive a signed disc through the post.

Mark Beirne-Smith - Do you like Marmalade?
Alexis Cairns - Err, yes?! Wouldn't say no.

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