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Interview: Hidden Orchestra

Selda: Welcome back again. How did you find the audience at Babylon tonight?

Joe: Amazing, brilliant. Yeah, they were really responsive and there was this connection.

Selda: Did they meet your expectations or were you expecting something like this?

Joe: I was hoping for that. It was better than we hope. It was really good.

Selda: You could have been much closer to mainstream with the drums and this musical base. Why did you choose to build the structure on jazz?

Joe:  I wouldn’t say there was a choice to do jazz. It’s more than the jazz, the classical or the electronic music. They naturally fit together for me. So it’s natural when I’m writing music to come out that way.

Selda: This is your own style, then?

Joe: Yeah!

Selda: You are always compared to other bands. Lots of people say you resemble some kind of other bands. Do you feel like “Hey we are creating our own music here!”

Joe: Yeah, yes. I mean personally I think for any music the people make is just all their different influences coming together and not being original is really looking at things that have already happened and maybe thinking about a new way slightly. Ah, what was the question?


Selda: People, most of the time say you resemble other bands… Ho do you react against this?

Joe: I think it’s nice to be compared to the bands that we really like. I would say, we’re talking about cinematical texture… I would say more… they have the same influences as us rather than we are influenced by them. So we are coming from the similar place jazz, classical, electronic…

Selda: Fundamentally, you are all inspired by each other?

Joe: Yeah, yeah…

Selda: You have transformed into an orchestra from a quartet. You have drums, violins, bass and some extra instruments at the live shows. Are you considering to enlarge the orchestra with new ideas?

Joe: Yes! This summer we are plannig to do the live recording of the album with a full orchestra. So playing the whole thing completely live… Big strings, brass, two drummers, yeah.

Poppy Ackroyd&Jamie Graham. Photo: Emre Yürüktümen

Selda: It will be all live?

Joe: Yeah. With us recording as well trying to make a live… (A fan comes and asks for a an autograph from Joe)

Selda: We are going back to the questions. Turkish people are always intimate like this.

Joe: That’s nice. I like it.

Selda: As we consider the layers of your music, your instrumentation, you use different sources of instruments for your music and it seems as if it’s a little bit more difficult to play live considering the recordings. Do you have any difficulties at the live shows?

Joe: Yes. I mean it would be nice to have a whole orchestra to play everything everytime. But there are venues that for a song it costs too much money. It’s just too difficelt. So, we are hoping to do with funding. But yeah, when we play ourselves in the show, it makes sense to have four, five, six people.

Selda: This style is also unique for you.

Joe: Yeah.

Emre: Would you like beer, by the way?

Joe: Yes…(Laughs)

Selda: For the debut album “Night Walks” got praised all around the world. Did you expect that kind of compliment at the beginning? Were you expecting such kind of reaction?

Joe: No, no… It’s surprising and really nice.

Selda: You have both classical and electronic sounds for sure as we mentioned before. Have you got such plans to make a totally electronic album?

Joe: Maybe. But it wouldn’t be a Hidden Orchestra thing. Because a lot of the idea of Hidden Orchestra is to make electronic styles of music. So there’s different types of drummers. But, using new synthesizers, all natural classic instruments, so the point is we are making electronic music. But we are making it acousticly. So, to do a fairly electronic album there’s so many items to fit in. So it probably wouldn’t be within this band.

Selda: When I think about the cohesiveness between the track titles and the songs. There’s a nice cohesion actually. Nice composition. Because the track names always explain everything about the song and the feeling.

Joe: That’s very good to hear!

Selda: And… Night Walks is a successful album in this context. How could you manage to get this harmony between the titles and the souls of the songs?

Joe: I don’t know. I have never been asked that before. It’s difficult. I mean the names of the tracks… I just try to keep them short.

Emre: The names of the songs belong to you?

Joe: Yeah… I write all the music. I write all the drum parts as well. I mean that’s why we have worked in this. Because I would write them all in the studio and I didn’t want to make live. I wanted the drummer and I needed a violin player and another drummer. That would mean the whole orchestra. So, track titles, I have lost the question…


Selda: So you compose the songs and after listening…

Joe: Yeah, I compose the song and then try to sum up how it feels to me in single words. All of the words have double meanings as well. I am very glad to hear that it’s understandable and works for you.

Jamie Graham. Photo: Emre Yürüktümen

Emre: Beer?

Selda: You are in search of creating cinematic sounds and everything is cinematographic. You use visual stuff to promote it at the shows. How does it make you feel to create such a dreamlike athmosphere while playing on stage?

Joe: When we have a good crowd like tonight, it’s amazing. It feels, that’s quite personal I think for all of us. But the reaction between us and the crowd is what it’s all about. When they like it, we have an amazing time.

Selda: It is kind of spontaneous then.

Joe: Yeah, everything about music is very structured. Sort of planned. Set and it’s done. So it’s really down to the way we play at night. That makes it different every time. It’s the crowd that make us play differently.

Selda: The next question is about your videos. You don’t have official videos. It’s a bit strange to come accross any video of yours on the internet or anywhere we searched for. Are you planning to have a video of your own?

Joe: Yes. We’d like to do a film. Last year we did part of a film and it was an amazing experience. So when we play live, sometimes we visuals and they are designed to be more cinematic.

Selda: Tonight you didn’t use it?

Joe: Yeah, tonight we didn’t use it.

Selda: Why?

Joe: Because it’s so expensive to get it here. In a nutshell. That’s the truth.

Emre: That’s acceptable!

Joe: But yeah, we are hoping to do some more film stuff… Next year I think.

Selda: You will be on the road during March and April. Too many concerts accross the Europe. How does it make you feel to be so very demanded?

Joe: So far, it’s nice. We will see how tiring that is. If we will fall out and fight, that would be sad. But I think, it will be very enjoyable. If each concert is just like tonight, yeah…

Selda: It’s a cliche time now. We know you have lots of side projects and solo works. What are your upcoming projects? Do you have any soundtrack projects?

Joe: Ahh… Well, I’ve got a few things. I’m working on some Balcan dubstep which will be all sort of like Bosnian, Serbian style brass with heavy dubstep beats. It would be me and another guy. He play trompet. It will be something live, making beats. Also I’m working on the next Hidden Orchestra album this year and hoping for November. But don’t make any promises.

Emre: You said November, I’ll remember this!


I wanted to finish the second album before we released the first one. Traditionally, it’s difficult for second album. So, It’s also ready. Mostly finished. Yeah, I’d like to work hard.

Selda: Let’s talk about a bit of Turkey. So far, what is the impression on you?

Joe: I’ve never been to Turkey before. I mean this far-east before. Istanbul is not what I expected. It’s a a lot bigger. It’s huge. And the people are really really nice. There’s these little winding streets. People are eating late, drinking. Great venues and it’s great yeah. We only arrived today.  We are staying tomorrow as well. Just to see İstanbul. Do you have any suggestions? Anywhere we should definitely go?

Emre: You are in the centre of our first suggestions actually!

Selda: The last question is about Turkish music. Do you know anything about Turkish music, especially Turkish jazz music?

Joe: I don’t know much about Turkish jazz music I’m afraid. The thing about Turkey for us is symbols obviously. Aside from that I don’t know a lot of Turkish music. Particularly contemporary Turkish music. But I’m afraid. (Laughs…)

Emre: You don’t miss too much!


Joe: Do you have any recommendations?

Emre: You don’t miss much these days, really. Let’s stop it!

Joe: If you say so…


Selda: Thank you for this opportunity. We really appreciate it.

Joe: Nice to meet you too.


Interview with: Joe Acheson (Bass guitar) at Babylon Stage, Istanbul

Hidden Orchestra: Official site, Myspace

3 Yorum var! : “Interview: Hidden Orchestra”
  1. Ivaylo diyor ki:

    Come to Bulgaria too!

  2. Pablo diyor ki:

    Hi friends: Tonight 21hs  (spanish tome) live audio streaming: Hidden Orchestra in Barcelona


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