On the Couch with Lillian Albazi

Lillian-Albazi-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Lillian Albazi?
I am an Assyrian-Babylonian Australian, Naarm based musician and composer most recognised for my jazz singing and recent release of my debut album, After-Image.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
When it boils down to it, I think I am very content where I am in life, so I don’t think I’d do much else differently. I think as human beings we always want to strive to be our best and most productive selves but I also think that it is our imperfections and foibles that make us the unique and wonderful people that we are.

Who inspires you and why?
The local arts community that I have the privilege of working within. If I take my performer’s hat off a second, it is wildly inspiring to watch the creativity, passion and determination of local artists in my scene and watch the production and curation of their work unfold. From the beginnings of hearing about an idea to sitting and participating in the culmination of a show, production or opening.

I think it is such a special thing to be part of a community, to feel and watch and experience an event in tandem with other people. To discuss, agree, disagree and bond over an experience. I believe that attending live arts adds such substance to our existence as human beings. Small inputs into larger outputs that all contribute to the greater viability of where we live and our overall wellbeing.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make the same level of education accessible to everyone so that we can breakdown societal stigmas and prejudices. As the daughter of someone who sought refugee status in Australia after escaping the war in Iraq, it breaks my heart to live in a world that still denies people basic human rights and turns people away from safety and resettlement.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
A bonfire in the country, wrapped in a few blankets, out where the air is clean and I am surrounded by native fauna and flora. Where I can look up at the sky and there is no light pollution inhibiting the stars and the milky way. As a side note, Venice at night with an Aperol Spitz after visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection took my breath away.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
A trip down Brunswick St and Sydney Road (wonderland avenue as I like to think of it). Too many wonderful bars, restaurants, live music venues to list but well worth losing yourself in.

What are you currently reading?
Conversations in Jazz: The Ralph J. Gleason Interviews and Victor Steffensen’s Fire Country.

What are you currently listening to?
Grand Salvo – Soil Creatures; MF Doom – Mm..Food; Bill Evans Trio – Waltz for Debby; Melissa Aldana – Visions; Charles Bradley – Changes; Sampa the Great – The Return; Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas; and Rowland S. Howard – Pop Crimes.

Happiness is?
Finding that vintage guitar and amp you have been searching for, for years pop up on reverb.com or listed at Found Sound, Guitar Emporium or Music Swop Shop and then finally holding it in your hands. The first strum is the sweetest.

What does the future hold for you?
Lots of touring, new releases and recording studios for the near future which suits me just fine. Hopefully I can acquire a few more cats and guitars along the way and have some cold frothy’s with the ones I love when time allows.

Lillian is an Australian jazz vocalist who has just released her debut album, After-Image. Lillian and her band are also presenting a series of concerts across the the eastern states and South Australia. For more information, visit: www.lillianalbazi.com for details.

Image: Lillian Albazi (supplied)