Lollo Meier is an amazingly talented guitarist and teacher, with a long career and a life spent in passionate pursuit of his art.
His visit to Australia for the OzManouche Festival later this month is a wonderful opportunity to see the works from his latest albums, ‘Plachterida’ and ‘Fleur Manouche’.
Can you give us an idea of the things you love about music and the origins of the Manouche style?
I love music because I grew up with it, I don’t know anything better. So it is a part of me. I grew up with the music of Django Reinhardt; he was into the Manouche music and therefore I love it forever.
What can you tell us about the new album; more specifically the original pieces?
The album is called ‘Fleur Manouche’. The songs I wrote are inspired by the great Django. I played Django for all of my life and everything I do is, in a way, inspired by his music.
Have you been to Australia before? What are your impressions of the music you’ve heard from here?
No, but I’m really looking forward to visiting you guys. I don’t know much about Australian music ‘cause I’m always pretty occupied with my own music.
Hot jazz always seems very inviting and inclusive of all the forms; do you think it is the more romantic notions that inspire people when listening to French jazz or the skill and aptitude musically?
People seem to enjoy the liveliness of the romantic style. It is better understood than the more traditional free jazz styles. So the music is finding a direct way into the hearts of people.
Tell us about your earlier work and the other musicians you have enjoyed playing with?
I played with a lot of different people all over the world. Some of them were and are exceptional. I learned a lot of different styles and techniques. So I am blessed to be able to work with all these fantastic musicians. And I’m looking forward to playing with my friends in Australia.
Some more modern influences are apparent in your work. Are there any more modern influences on your music you’d care to mention?
Recently I’m working with flamenco musicians. I don’t know if this is a modern stream, but I love to do it. It is very new to me and I love learning the techniques and emotions of the music. I try to put down the jazz and flamingo into a mix of my own. So it is very special to me. I hope something comes out of it and maybe I’m going to put it on a new album. I always try to be original, so I listen to very different types of music.
Please, tell us more about your home and where you rehearse, the space and the work regimen.
I live on a gypsy campsite with my wife and daughter. My family is also living on this campsite, so we are always together and therefore are able to play our traditional music. I play every day. It is necessary to keep up my techniques and I try to make lots of new music. So I look upon it as an hobby that has become my work. I simply love it.
Lollo Meier performs as part of OzManouche at the Brisbane Jazz Club Saturday November 30.