Q&A: Tim Daisy

TD: I’m an avid reader, and many books have made an impact on me in various ways. I don’t really have any favorites per se, as I’m discovering new authors all the time. However, I have to say that reading Ulysses by James Joyce has profoundly impacted how I view and try to understand the world around me. A big takeaway for me is the idea of everyday life being crucial to the human experience. For example, this novel has helped me feel less insecure about “missing anything” if I just stroll through my neighborhood rather than show up at a party, concert, art opening, etc. This attitude change might also be due to the fact that I’m getting older and have kids, but I do owe a lot to this great book for opening me up to the greatness and importance of what’s happening at the moment right in front of me.

I also just finished reading Don Quixote (Edith Grossman translation.) This might be the most hilarious while, at the same time, tragic works of fiction that I have ever had the pleasure to read. Really amazing on so many levels. An important lesson that stuck with me throughout is that you should not be afraid to stick to your dreams, no matter how extreme or crazy other people might think they are. Very inspiring.

I’m currently reading “The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, And the Movies” by Ray Carney. I’m gaining valuable insight into the working methods of one of the greatest film directors of all time. Cassavetes changed the art of cinema, and Ray Carney’s insightful thoughts on his philosophy connected to directing, including his actor-centered approach and improvisational aesthetic, are crucial to gaining a deeper understanding of what made him a genius.

Other authors whose work I adore include Albert Camus, Susan Sontag, Czeslaw Milosz, Hannah Arendt, Anne Sexton, James Baldwin… the list continues to grow.

A list of my favorite films would take up too much time and space. I’ll list ‘Rome Open City‘ by Roberto Rosellini as not only one of my favorite films of all time but also super important for introducing me to the Italian Neorealism movement.

TD: A few years back, I discovered an LP at a record store in Lisbon made by Agrupamento Kissanguela, which was an Angolan musical group formed in 1974, a year before the country’s National Independence. I did some research on the recording and found that it was produced by the cultural arm of the MPLA, who fought against the Portuguese army during the Angolan Civil War. (1961-74.) The music, which I’ll call Angolan revolutionary folk music, for lack of a better term, is insanely beautiful, with songs full of hope and optimism. This is especially remarkable when you consider the context in which it was recorded. I’m sure more than a few people have heard this record, but perhaps not recently since it was not released on any label, and I’m not sure how many copies were even pressed back in 1974. BTW, I would like to give a special thanks to Christof Kurzmann as I was on tour with him in Portugal and he told me about the record shop where I found this remarkable recording.

TD: Tony Oxley and Derek Bailey Duo concert from The Knitting Factory (1995)

TD: I would have loved to organize a freely improvised meeting with MoondogArthur Russell, Leroy Jenkins, and Pauline Oliveros, followed by a discussion about everything and anything. Imagine what a learning experience this would be!

TD: That’s an easy one for me: Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsy’s Live at the Fillmore East. Of course, there is no way I could ever match Buddy Miles‘ pocket on the drums. But… I could have added some understated hand percussion to the mix while having my mind melted by Jimi’s guitar playing. This would have been something!

TD: All the younger improvisers  (younger than me than me anyway!) currently making waves here in Chicago and beyond. There’s too many to name….though I want to give a special shout out to Scott Dean Taylor (drums) Allen Moore (turntables, electronics) Mai Sugimoto (alto saxophone) and Erez Dessel (piano).

TD: There’s an incredibly long list of folks from a wide array of disciplines who continue to inspire me, and this list keeps growing. So , in order to save space, I think it’s best to stick with folks who’s work that I’m currently checking out:

I’ve recently been diving back into the work of Columbia, SC based visual artist Laura Spong. What strikes me about her paintings are how they allude to representational images, without specifying them. I love this idea of the viewer finding their own way and discovering personal meanings in a work of art. I’m also very much inspired by the fact that she developed her incredible body of work living and working in the American south, far from from the center of the art world at the time.

I’ve been listening to a fair amount of improvised and composed solo material from a variety of artists both current and in general. Acoustic, electronic, fixed media… the list below gives you a cross section of what’s been inspiring me lately:

  • Allen Moore – Lived a devil (Monastral)
  • Andrew Cyrille – Music Delivery / Percussion (Intakt Records)
  • Andrea Parkins – Two Rooms From The Memory Palace (Infrequent Seams)
  • Anthony Braxton – Solo (NYC) 2002 (New Braxton House)
  • Biliana Voutchkova – Modus Of Raw (Evil Rabbit) 
  • Chad Taylor – Myths and Morals (ears&eyes records)
  • Ellen Fullman – Music For The Man Who Grew Common in Wisdom (Besom Presse)
  • Fred Lonberg-Holm – Lisbon Solo (Notice Recordings)
  • Hamid Drake – Dedications ‘Black Cross Solo Sessions 6’  (Corbett vs Dempsey)
  • Joe McPhee – Route 84 Quarantine Blues ‘Black Cross Solo Sessions 2’ (Corbett vs Dempsey)
  • Keith Rowe – Absence (Erstwhile Records)
  • Rafael Toral – Spectral Evolution (Drag City)

TD: The Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson is a masterpiece and I listen to it all the time.

Enjoy Tim’s Artist Profile at the Soundstream!