Two and a half months after his CIOC victory in October 2014, the CIOC talks to David Baskeyfield. Here is the second part of the interview.
READ ALSO: The first part of this interview
SEE ALSO: David Baskeyfield's final round
CIOC: Those were some pretty fancy red socks you had on for the Gala Concert. Was that on purpose? Do you pick out footwear carefully before a concert?
David Baskeyfield: Thanks! Sort of a whim I suppose. They matched the tie (or nearly did). I only have one pair of organ shoes which simplifies matters. A handful of organists on the circuit like to decorate their organ shoes with things like rhinestones and they should be ashamed of themselves.
CIOC: Where would you like to play next if you had the choice?
DB: In no particular order: the Albert Hall; Weingarten; Notre Dame; Wenzelskirche, Naumburg; Woolsey Hall; Jacobi, Hamburg. Looking out of the window at wintry Rochester, Sydney Town Hall also looks particularly attractive right now.
CIOC: Any favorite organs?
DB: St Sulpice – life changing.
CIOC: Any favorite quotes you would like to share?
DB: I have to admit, most of my favourite quotations that have anything (or nothing) to do with the organ and its music came from Bill Porter’s improvisation and studio classes (as I’m sure his other students will attest to): “These are good enough pieces, they just need different notes” or “I suppose one person’s tasteful ornamentation is another’s moustache on the Mona Lisa” or, on conservatoire life: “There’s not much to it really – just work as hard as you possibly can and try not to worry.” I should have taken the latter to heart more seriously.
CIOC: I hear you love fish. Any other interesting hobbies?
DB: Ah yes, I probably should take that thing about keeping Lake Malawi cichlids out of my bio as I’m not sure whether it’s interesting or just makes me look like a kook… Not sure how interesting it is to anyone else, but I do like to cook a lot. And I brew beer. Baskeybräu IX (a dry-hopped and oaked double IPA) is currently at secondary fermentation and should be ready shortly.
CIOC: You won the Richard Bradshaw Audience Prize and RCCO Prize for a Healey Willan piece. What would you like to say to the audience for the win?
DB: I’m genuinely glad it was enjoyable to listen to; thanks for looking past all the wrong notes.
What would you like to say to Healey Willan after having played his piece? Actually, I played the Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue at a recital in Calgary a week or so after the CIOC. At the end a gentleman approached me with the gambit, “Thank you for playing my grandfather’s piece.” He was too young to be Bach’s or Mozart’s grandson so, process of elimination etc… I’d probably say to Healey Willan something along the lines of what I said to his grandson – that I’d originally started looking at the piece in preparing for the competition a little cynically (i.e. there’s an extra prize going so let’s play for it) but I, quite unexpectedly, ended up being completely bowled over by the piece. When playing through new rep it’s a really great feeling when you find a piece that you just seem to get on with, or that hits you like that. For a piece that essentially came out of a bet [Healey Willan had attended a recital where a by Reger had been played. His companion, Dalton Baker, is said to have remarked that such a piece could only have come from a “German philosophical mind”; Willan replied, “To hell with your German philosophical mind – it’s a reasonable piece of thinking, that’s all” and wrote one himself] I honestly think this is one of the great musical works of the 20th century.