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Amy Dickson interview

We chat to the saxophonist about her new album A Summer Place.

Amy Dickson

Australian-born Amy Dickson is preparing to release her new album A Summer Place on 25th August 2014.

The saxophonist puts her own take on some wonderful, evergreen themes from the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. Songs on the record include A Summer Place, The Windmills of Your Mind and the theme from The Apartment.

We caught up with Amy to talk about her career, find out more about her album and discuss her achievements to date.

How are you today? Where does this email Q&A find you?

Great, thank you! Today I am in beautiful Mallorca, where we are doing the photo and video shoot for my new album.

You’re releasing your new album A Summer Place in June. What can your fans expect from the album?

With this album I aimed to capture the feel of summer in the 1960s – that very sumptuous, still elegant feel, especially from the Mediterranean. There are quite a few pieces from 60s films, which have been given a very cool, modern twist.

How did you choose the tracks you wanted to record for the album?

There were just so many options to choose from, so the challenge on this album was to narrow it down to the ones we have finally chosen. As I wanted to put my own stamp on the more well-known pieces, we also took into consideration the treatment which was to be given to each of the tracks.

You’ve picked up a Classic Brit Award and been nominated for a Grammy. What were those experiences like for you?

Absolutely thrilling. As with this new album, Dusk and Dawn was very much a project of a lot of love and passion from so many people who were involved. So it was really wonderful to be able to share those experiences with the people who have worked so hard on this music.

You’re classed as ‘the world’s leading classical saxophonist’. That’s a pretty big weight to carry isn’t it? How do you deal with having that label?

Actually, the saxophone is such a diverse instrument in terms of possible timbres and styles of playing, that it differs greatly from one person to another – and how that is received is really a very subjective thing. That’s the wonderful thing about the saxophone: it can be interpreted in so many ways, as indeed can music in general. It shouldn’t be a competition!

During your career to date you’ve made a substantial contribution to the repertoire for saxophone by commissioning new works. Do you feel that part of your job is to promote the saxophone and encourage others to play it?

I certainly feel passionate about the contemporary repertoire and its expansion, and given the position that I am fortunate enough to find myself in, I do also feel a responsibility to use that profile to promote it.

What’s been your favourite piece to play so far and why?

I have such a broad repertoire that my favourite piece differs many times a day, at least!

You’re a brand ambassador for REN Skincare. How did you get involved with that?

Quite a few years ago I first became affiliated with REN. They have such a wonderful, natural range of products, which I have used ever since. I think that it’s rare to find beauty products which are still as effective after such a long time.

What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?

This summer I am performing at festivals in Europe. After that I have tours in America and Australia.

Amy’s album A Summer Place is released on August 25th. Check out the video for A Summer Place below:

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