Under The Spotlight: Ido Spak The Jazz Traveller

The intrigue surrounding the work of Ido Spak is potent to say the least and this is only spurred onward with a fundraising campaign for a brand new project; ‘Epidemic Adventures’. From a well-travelled man who absorbs musical/cultural influences on a sponge-like level, we got chatting to see how the magic happens…

SS: How would you describe your songwriting process?

IS: Whereas some composers struggle and spend hours deciding about the perfect notes, I am one of those who just hear it in the head while jogging or driving my car and then write it immediately on a piece of paper. Many pieces from my first album have been written in Canterbury at the West Gate park while I was doing pull ups and set ups in the sun.

SS: How has this process evolved over time?

IS: Writing music has always come naturally to me. MY first compositions were very bad and not melodic but when I became 17, they started to touch other people and I had a little fan base in my school. During the army, I was creatively dead but then, during college, I started composing again and this time, Jazz harmonies became an integral part of them. In Holland, I had a creative block which ended as soon as I moved to the UK and started composing immediately when I moved to my first house.

SS: Do you take songwriting inspiration from anyone in particular?

IS: I take my inspiration from the ones I love. On my third album, Lumina and Funny were composed for my two dogs and Dribsy, on my fourth album, was written for another dog that used to live with me and my ex on a regular base when his owner was visiting her home land.  

SS: What is the hardest thing about songwriting to you?

IS: The hardest thing is the instability. I am lucky to be teaching in two schools and having a lot of pupils. With all of the new online streaming, you know that you won’t make a living from writing music when people no longer buy Cd’s nor pay for downloading the MP3. I see many good people give up and go to university to study a profession that brings money and makes it possible to feed a family. I make a stable income but I have decided not to have a family so that I can focus on my self and make music for the benefit of human kind and for the love of what I do, rather then make it only for the money, which is a very bad mindset.

SS: Do you have any remedies for a creative writing block?

IS: You can’t force inspiration, but you can run 20km or walk four hours to a nearby city to clear your thoughts and then, just write something. Once you start with a clear head, it will come back.

SS: Do you have any music-related plans after the release of the next album?

IS: I wish I can go on tournees again, but it’s hard to plan it with the pandemic. I also want to write 7 more ‘sonates’ for piano and sax.

SS: What’s your favourite piece of music from 2021?

IS: Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to really watch new compositions. I know that Omer Klein has a new album which I am very curious about and I would like to listen again to some new pieces of Omer Avutal.  I would like to see Robert Glasper and Chris Dave again when they come to Germany.  

 Audiences can support the album here: https://sonicly.com/Projects/Experience/733/1827/