An Interview with Joanna Wallfisch

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Combining an incredible thirst for adventure & a superengelic voice, The Mumble were honour’d to grab a wee blether with Joanna Wallfisch…

Hello Joanna, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Joanna: I am from South London, live in Los Angeles, via New York & Paris, & as we speak I am in Edinburgh.

When did you first develop a love music?
Joanna: In the womb. I was born into a family of classical musicians. My mother is a violinist. But I fell in love with jazz when I was 11, with Ella Fitzgerald.

Can you tell us about your training?
Joanna: Well, like I mentioned, I grew up in a household of professional musicians, and after my undergrad in fine art I did a masters degree in jazz vocals. then I moved to NYC where I spent six years learning from the very best musicians in the world.

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Who inspires you musically?
Joanna: Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Beethoven, Moira Smiley, Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy, Carmen McCrae, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Laura Mvula, Sam Amidon, Bjork, The Beetles, the list goes on…

What do you like to do when you’re not being, well, musical?
Joanna: I love to swim and hike and be out in nature adventuring.

You’ve got three famous figures from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starter, mains & dessert?
Joanna: Ella Fitzgerald, Henry VII, Junk Tabei. I would cook – smoked salmon with horseradish on toast, then a roast veggie risotto, then pavlova with passion fruit and raspberries.

You are bringing The Great Song Cycle Song Cycle to this year’s Fringe, can you tell us about it?
Joanna: It is a show based on my experiences cycling down the west coast of America solo. I tel the story through song and spoken word, create soundscapes with my voice, melodica and other instruments – a bit like a film score to set the scenes, and take the audience on a journey through the meditation of the road, adventure, beauties, strange things and people and more.

What are the key ingredients to the show’s style?
Joanna: Storytelling, intricate vocal harmonies, folk and jazz, playfulness.

What was the craziest thing that happened on your journey, & has it found its way into the show?
Joanna: All the crazy is in the show!!

You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in an Edinburgh street, what would you say?
Joanna: Do you like music and adventure? Come to see The Great Song Cycle, half price tickets if you have a flier?!!

The Great Song Cycle Song Cycle

13-18 – 12:05 @ Surgeon’s Hall, Theatre 2. The Space UK

20-25 – 20:35 @ Triplex Studio, The Space UK

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