When my dear friend and trio comrade Jonas Burgwinkel showed me Ben Monder’s incredible album “Excavation” sometime in 2005 my musical world got turned upside down. Ben’s music has had a major impact on me and my writing. When I look at certain compositions of mine I can clearly see his influence ( i.e. “Meta”). Whenever there was a rumor of an upcoming Ben Monder record I awaited each one with great excitement and checked it out as soon as it came out. I’d say I’ve spent the most time with his own records “Excavation”, “Oceana”, “Flux” and “Hydra”. Though I also listened quite a bit to his records with Theo Bleckmann like “No Boat”, “At Night” or “Origami“. I also love his sideman work on records by Jochen Rückert, Paul Motian, Maria Schneider, Bill McHenry, or Tony Malaby.
In this conversation we talk about his process of finding new harmonies, composing, influences, working with Paul Motian, his relationship with Theo Bleckmann, memories of special concerts he attended when he was coming up and much more.
I was very excited to talk to Ben and I’m happy I can share this with all of you here.