Alex Zhang Hungtai – “When you are not truthful to yourself, the playing itself will suffer” (interview)

English September 26 2018 alex zhang hungtai

Interview by Alexander Julin, photo: Sean Marc Lee

Alex Zhang Hungtai has been creating enormously diverse music throughout his career. In addition to the also stylistically diverse project Dirty Beaches, Hungtai has been releasing music under the moniker Last Lizard and more lately in his own name. Besides the more free jazzed collaboration with David Meranha and Gabriel Ferrandini as well as part of the trio Love Themes, Hungtai has released both minimalistic piano and saxophone compositions since he ended Dirty Beaches. His latest solo release, the album “Divine Weight”, points back towards his last album as Dirty Beaches, “Stateless”, which also was an ethereal and atmospheric saxophone album. However, “Divine Weight” incorporates a more alternative approach to playing the saxophone which implies limitations but also the unfolding of the instrument’s potential; a potential which suggests a personal and existential dimension in addition to the musical.

“The saxophone is not only a friend that helps me reveal myself to me. It is also a harsh training buddy that punishes you when you play lies,” Hungtai explains in the following interview, in which he reflects upon the personal dimension that the saxophone opens up, and the responsibility it demands of its player. Læs resten