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Episode 40: Avi Wisnia

I got a piano recently. Not a real one, mind you, but a digital one, 64 keys, with a weird harpsichord patch that no one uses ever. I really like it. I go downstairs into the studio/lair and work on chords and figure out how to play Velvet Underground songs. I'm going to take lessons, but for now, I'm enjoying just having the thing in my house where I can sit and play at it whenever I want to. I've been having some wheezing/breathing issues lately, mostly due to allergies, and going downstairs and playing for a bit right before bed calms me down and helps me loosen up in my chest so I can sleep. So there you have it. Therapeutic effect through music.

I mention the piano because my guest this week, Avi Wisnia, plays my piano at the end of our conversation. I love watching really skilled people play things that I own. I pretend that maybe they leave some of that skill on the instrument, and maybe I can absorb it via osmosis.

Avi is an amazing guy, and he sings and writes like a truly classic musician. I don't mean to imply that he has a specific sound or 'gimmick', I mean to say that he approaches music with the song being the most important thing. That's a classic approach that, while still in fashion, gets lost sometimes behind image and hype and the million other things you're trying to let an audience know when you get up and play. Avi sounds absolutely like Avi whatever he's playing, be it a Cure cover, a Brazilian-meets-West-Coast-jazz inspired song, or a cabaret tune. It's all him, every time. He lets his personality and his tone interpret each song, but in the end, he's thinking about the song. It sounds so simple, but it gets forgotten sometimes. Avi reminded me.

In other housekeeping, Radio Nowhere started broadcasting episodes of the show in collaboration with Brookladelphia. You can hear them on the web through their site, and you can keep up with the Brookladelphia schedule on their site as well. I dig the folk over at Brookladelphia (Dani Mari from Episode 12 runs it), and I'm gong to be getting more involved with them as time goes on. So keep up with them, they're doing great work.

Be well and healthy and I'll catch you all in a couple of weeks. Thanks, as always, for continuing to listen.



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