Charles Condy playing at the Vortex Jazz Club, London. Photographer: Lydia Polzer

 

…a mature and inventive character with a well of inspiration in a world of art.

Tim Garland, jazz saxophonist and composer

HEARING RICHIE BEIRACH in Berlin in 1998 made me see all my previous musical experiences in a new light. I realised that, rather than being isolated chapters, my earlier forays into classical flute, choral singing and jazz piano were a logical preparation for my on-going journey as an improviser and composer. Beirach’s music inspired me to find my own voice in both my writing and playing.

“...we live in a state of perpetual longing and no release; only the stimulus to begin the work can come from outside ourselves.”

At the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Photo: Katja CondyThis quote from the American-German expressionist painter Lyonel Feininger is true, I think, for any kind of creative process. For my own part, I have taken inspiration from art and literature as well as human encounters and personal experience. As a result, my compositions tend to evoke atmospheres, images or people.

In 2002 I wrote the Feininger Suite, based on six of the artist’s oil canvasses painted between 1913 and 1929. His prismatic shapes and overlapping panes seemed to translate naturally into jazz harmonies and rhythms. The Steamer and Lady In Mauve can be heard under listen in. Below is a link for viewing the paintings while you sample the music:

The Steamer (Dampfer Odin II) and Lady In Mauve can both be viewed at: www.geocities.com/Eureka/Boardroom/
5885/loadframe.htm?artgal3_.htm

I’ve now embarked on a new trio project, performing originals as well as arrangements of all-time classics. For further details, please click here

In discussion with Dan Stern. Photo: Joe LockerOne of the challenges in establishing a musical identity is being able to hold onto your voice in different playing situations. In 2003 I started exploring early jazz and stride piano with the help of Keith Nichols and in the following year joined the Bright Stars of Jazz, one of the top Chicago-Dixieland bands in the country. After focusing on contemporary jazz intensively for some years, it has been fascinating relearning how to express myself genuinely regardless of the type of jazz and feel. As a performer, I have discovered a flexibility and sense of adventure in winding back the clock and recreating atmospheres of the 20s, 30s and 40s while still being true to my musical personality. Playing both the old and the new means I am fortunate to be able to play with as diverse musicians as: James Evans, Quentin Collins, Brigitte Beraha, George Hart, John Petters, Mark Hodgson, Dan Stern, Ben Markland, Jeff Barnhardt (in duet), Jim Fryer, Richie Howard.

For details of what I can offer for private functions and corporate hospitality, please go to Contact/Bookings.