Wednesday, 17 September 2008

FEATURE: A musical feast with veg on the side

A Musical Feast With Veg On The Side
Louise Ridley talks to Adam page about his original solo show

Fancy some beat boxing mixed with Indian rhythms on the nose flute? Or a salsa track with a hint of African thumb piano? Then Adam Page is your man. The multi-talented music maestro from Adelaide turns his hand to almost any instrument, and showcases them all in his appropriately named one-man show, ‘Adam Page Solo’.“It all starts from scratch”, says Adam, who uses live looping and sampling to create a unique composition during every show, “nothing is pre-prepared. I ask the audience what style they want to hear and take a bit of a vote, then I might beat box a bit and lay down a rhythm. Every single show is different, which is great because it means I am getting something out of it creatively, as well as entertaining people!” The audience also become music makers themselves: “I get people up on stage to record stuff into the loop pedal or the whole audience to sing some notes together. Then I build on what they are singing and they are incorporated into the piece.”A saxophonist by trade, a defining moment in Adam’s youth was watching fellow sax player Jamie Oehlers. “I saw him play when I was in year 10 at school and he just blew me away. I realised that this was what I wanted to do. Around that time I started getting bad marks in every other subject except music. So, it was a good thing really!” Since then he has toured Australia nine times with funk band The Jive Express, but his solo show allows him to indulge his inner frontman: “The freedom is amazing. I’ve always been a side man and I like the limelight! It’s great to be out there exposing my music to people, that’s what it’s all about. I love life on the road; it’s my number one passion”.When he puts down the sax, Adam dabbles with flute, clarinet, bass, guitar, percussion and beat boxing as well as some more unsual instruments: “I do Tuvan throat singing” [Here Adam breaks into an impressive noise which can only be described as the sound of a didgeridoo - without the didgeridoo] “There is the mbira which is an African thumb piano, and the madal, which is a Nepalese hand drum.” He turns “anything the audience throws at me” into an instrument, which has included a whoopie cushion and asthma inhaler. However, he won’t spill the beans about the intriguing tagline to his show – ‘One man. 15 instruments. One vegetable.’ “There is a vegetable but I won’t reveal what it is or how I play it – I’m pretty happy with it though!” Squeezing his instrumental collection onto the plane might prove tricky, then? “Obviously I can’t bring them all to Edinburgh! I need to buy a didgeridoo when I get to London actually...”Despite winning the Best Music By An Emerging Artist award at the 2007 Adelaide Fringe Festival, this will be Adam’s first Edinburgh Fringe. “Edinburgh seemed like the next step! I can’t wait. I’m doing 24 back-to-back shows and it will be great for my development to really focus in that way.” He’s looking forward to sampling what the Festival has to offer: “Michael Franti, John Cleary, and Spearhead; I’ve already got my tickets for that! I’m into classical music, as well. I’ll definitely go to the Bach cello suites because I play them on the saxophone. But I’m most looking forward to seeing really unknown shows like myself; there are so many people out there!”

--Adam Page Solo, Underbelly, 31 Jul - 24 Aug, 5.20pm (6.20pm), prices vary, fpp 138.

published: Aug-2008 for Three Weeks newspaper at the Edinburgh Festival

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