This is one of a series of interviews and articles
Bluegrass connects people
Interview with Mala Gassman, Swiss singer and
Mala Gassman is a lovely young lady from Switzerland; with her band Mala & FyrMoon, she performs a mix of country, folk and bluegrass; she writes most of the songs as well and is an accomplished fiddle player and vocalist.
I met Mala in Raleigh, North Carolina, during the International Bluegrass Music Association conference in September 2013. We booth performed at the "International Suite" and had a chance to talk a little. Here are Mala's answers to some of my questions:
-How did you get involved in bluegrass music?
I played classical violin for many years and
loved to sing. I always dreamed of having a country band one day (because
I liked country music). Through country music, I got in touch with bluegrass
and bluegrass related genres. I soon felt that this is more where my
heart lies in. I remember I bought my first appalachian fiddle tune
book in 1997. I think I started diving more into bluegrass music about
2003 or 2004 (in 2004 I visited for the first time the IBMA conference).
My old band mates and friends came up with some albums of Alison Krauss
and Nickel Creek, etc. I suppose, I never was a big traditional bluegrass
listener. I know of course where its roots come from. I look at Bill
Monroe like I look at my grandparents, who I never knew. I owe my musical
roots to him, but I have not known him.
I love acoustic music. It comes from the heart.
It is natural, it can be played everywhere, it brings people of all
ages together, it connects people of all over the world. I love the
happy mood of a fiddle tune and the sad songs, that bring tears to your
eyes. It is down to earth music; it is pure and honest, just like life.
I love the harmonies of the different voices and the sounds of the instruments.
I love how you can express feelings and moods through singing or playing
Well, I suppose a lot is said above. It is somewhat
related to country music, but is more folk oriented. It has some Irish
influence I would say. It is totally acoustic, that means that in general,
it has no drums or electric instruments (of course, there are exeptions).
It has songs and instrumental tunes. Traditional bluegrass has often
very happy moods, although the words of the songs are sometimes dark
and serious (a lot of heartbreaks and murders!). Songs are also about
happy love, home, family and beautiful nature. There are gospel and
acapella songs as well.
|last updated : January 5, 2014 1:52 PM|