Don’t be lazy, says Samoan jazz artist

By Sapeer Mayron ,

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Computers and audio editing technology make it too easy to make music sound good, according to renowned Samoan jazz singer Mavis Rivers’ son.

La’auli Matt Catingub is not just Rivers’ son of course, but a musician, conductor, artistic director and the frontman of visiting band Matt Catingub Sextet, who will perform a tribute concert in his mother’s honour at Taumeasina Island Resort on Saturday.

He told media on Thursday morning that with the advent of clever computer generated music, “real music making needs to make a comeback.

“Jazz comes down to listening,” La’auli said.

“If young musicians can get a steady diet of music to listen to, that will hopefully influence their creativity.”

Steve Moretti plays drums in the band. He said technology is great, but it should be used to complement, not create music.

Instead, it has been used to develop a routine production line of singles, and “stagnated” the creative process, Mr Moretti said.

US Ambassador Scott Brown, La’auli Matt Catingub, Christina Souza and Steve Moretti.: Photo: Misiona Simo/Samoa Observer
US Ambassador Scott Brown, La’auli Matt Catingub, Christina Souza and Steve Moretti.: Photo: Misiona Simo/Samoa Observer

“It makes it more challenging to find your own musical voice in this age of technology.

“If you listen to a lot of what is out there, a lot of it sounds the same, there is a similar thread of familiarity with the way music is processed and put on the radio,” he said.

He said tools are good, but without a musical ear, training and the vocabulary that music won’t go very far.

Answering questions on Samoa’s musical practice of rewriting foreign pop songs in Samoan, Mr Moretti said he hopes the Jazz Festival will help ignite more creativity.

“When you get to see high level musicians create music in the moment, that’s a very unique, special, inspiring experience.

“I think that is so diametrically opposed to taking little snippets of things on a computer, pasting it together and saying there you go, that’s music,” he said.

Mr Moretti said he hopes to show people how the creative process works by demonstrating it live on stage.

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