Now – as you probably know, as well as the usual platforms (this site, soundcloud, iTunes/Apple) you can now get to Sweetman Podcast on Spotify – follow it there and have it saved in your Spotify library.
I can’t remember exactly when I first met Lucien Johnson but it was probably close to two decades ago. He was one of the crew I used to watch at The Space in Newtown, Wellington; a performance venue – home to free jazz and spoken word gigs, to ‘other’ and outside music. It was such an education – and many of Lucien’s mentors (including previous podcast guests Jonathan Crayford and Ant Donaldson) were part of the mind-blowing education for me as a listener, just as they were for him as a player.
So I’ve always been keen to chat to Lucien for the podcast – we know each other but we don’t know each other well. And I’ve been a fan of a lot of his work.
He also has a show in this year’s NZ Festival – next week. Strasbourg 1518 is a theatre piece he conceived with his partner (dancer/choreographer) Lucy Marinkovich. So of course we gave that a plug – but this was a conversation that had been on the cards for a year or two. And this was a conversation that was also about jazz – how you find it and what it means to you. And we talked, too, about Lucien’s dad, the poet Louis Johnson.
From living in France and connecting with some of the greats of free jazz to playing in Ethiopia and touring with The Black Seeds – as well as composing for theatre and formally studying music (including to PhD levels and with mentors such as John Psathas) Lucien’s has been a life dedicated to music and the arts. He talks about time being the ultimate currency. Living on what it takes to get by and banking time for future projects.
I’m glad we had this chat. And I hope you enjoy it also.