Yesterday I spent an hour enchanted by an NPR music broadcast with Sean Ono Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl in which they talk about their music and their band, Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (GOASST for short) and play a number of songs from their upcoming album. It's called Acoustic Sessions, and it's due out October 26, 2010 on their own label, Chimera.
The generous interview ranges over many topics, including some music theory I found intriguing and one that left me with a lump in my throat, the origin of Sean's music in relation to his father.
What came through most of all, though, as I sat listening, looking at the sun set, then getting up to wash the dishes, was how much in love these two are with each other's prodigious talents and intelligence and how they make music by just playing around, discovering for it's own sake. Sean with his deep musical background, being led into strange new narrative territory, Charlotte with her natural lyric and melodic gifts, learning new instruments weekly, each of them exploring, pushing each other...it's a joyful and exquisitely matched collaboration.
There's a part where Sean describes how they keep trying to make a "straight" pop song, and how they'll then try a new chord and it just keeps getting more layered and elaborate. They despair of keeping it simple; quirky and rich seems to be what their music wants to be.
"We just keep challenging each other to entertain ourselves," he says.
To me, this is the essence of making art.
Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger interview on NPRMusic