creative amalgamation that has witnessed dazzling reviews and dismal sales. Trip to the Moon represents more than what the two members get in return for their music - it's more what they become by their music.
Both Tom Ludvigson and Trevor Reekie have, in words of composer Harold Arlen, 'come rain or shine', regular weekly musical session for the last ten years.
Unlike Arlen (who liked to tell a story about the time he danced with Marilyn Monroe: 'People are staring at us', Arlen whispered to Monroe. 'They must know who you are!'' she replied) neither member of Trip have achieved renown (or danced with Marilyn Monroe) but they have become astute musicians and composers in the course of their creative liaison.
Trip are sonic entrepreneurs who's CD's are calling cards to the lucrative synchronization market. You can hear Trip's music anywhere from TV dramas like Shortland Street to the American E! channel as well as TV docos, drama's and film soundtracks.
Tom Ludvigson is well known on the Auckland professional music scene, having played keyboards for a number of jazz outfits, as well as electronic experimental music and funk. Tom leads the Inner City Jazz Workshop who have released three albums his original compositions, well as performing and recording four albums with Bluespeak on Pagan. In addition to this he has released recordings with, among others, Alloy, Big Sideways, Bongo Nation, Elephunk, Rick Bryant's Jive Bombers, the electronic space jazz ensemble Nexus, and Richard Adams Quartet. Tom also composes music for television documentaries, including films featuring New Zealand artists Robin Morrison, Gretchen Albrecht and Stanley Palmer
Trevor Reekie claims that striving for musical success in this country is about as pointless as yelling at cicada's. The motivation comes from belief. He should know! He has contributed to local success dating back to the 80's when he produced a number of records for bands the Mockers, Dance Macabre and Marginal Era, as well as performing with and producing 80's electro band Car Crash Set.
They rehearse and piece together their albums in a studio housed in a rebuilt garage. They have released four albums and two singles to date, their last album Pretty Cool was released in 2003.
My musical agenda is to accumulate all the jazz background that Tom is so well versed in and merge it into the overall sound' says Reekie, whose own background is rock-orientated.
At one point of my life I wasted time collaborating with people who were like myself', says Ludvigson, 'and we duplicated skills. But here, it's the other way around. I get deep into my electronic instruments, which I know make unique and interesting sounds, and from there it's a process of refining and rebuilding - it lends itself to musical composition that often ends up in a place that isn't what we usually mkean by jazz. And that allows for a wider palette.'
It's a complementary, no-bullshit relationship that would probably only be possible with two musicians of their combined experience. Swedish Ludvigson has performed and recorded around Auckland as a hired jazz gun for many years. Reekie was a member of seminal eighties electro group Car Crash Set, has two ambient solo albums under the name Cosa, has recorded four albums with the Greg Johnson Band , and runs two Auckland based record labels, Pagan and Antenna. These days he is a free-lance broadcaster. 'I never left the music industry', says Reekie, 'I think more that it left me. The record industry had just about eaten itself and I knew that from the point that I started referring it as the salvage industry that it was time to branch out.'
Trip to the Moon sounds very electronic, but it's not airbrushed to death. 'There's always a procedure: plug in and jam', says Ludvigson about the beginning of every session. At some point in the layering process (after frequent guest contributors like Greg Johnson or Nigel Gavin have put down their parts) there's a lot of dragging and dropping of icons on the computer. Ludvigson: 'That's the geek interface.'
The new album 'Welcome to the Big Room' has taken over three years to complete. It is an album that by their mutual admission is more centred around composition than their previous efforts. Some of these new pieces take an almost classical approach - tracks like 'Welcome to the Big Room' and 'Song for Harry Partch' that each is made up of three separate movements. The album also features some glittering performances from accomplished guest musicians such as Nigel Gavin and legendary New Zealand reed wizard Jim Langabeer.
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