Oh hi there // Paddy Free

There are a lot of fascinating people in this town, and I love it when we get to meet a particularly interesting one, this is one of those moments. This Saturday night at The Civic, a magical collaboration between the Atamira Dance Company and composer Gareth Farr with producer Paddy Free is showing for one night only. Choreographer Moss Paterson has worked with 100 school age kids to tell the story of Ruaumoko, god of earthquakes, in dance. Set to Gareth Farr’s composition of the same name, with the addition of Paddy Free’s soundscapes, it’s going to be an epic, emotional thing to watch. Here Paddy Free gives us the inside word.

I’m a musician but I’m also a virgo, white male, half-Swedish, right-handed, keyboard player… which can make me quite the insufferable perfectionist… or just simply insufferable.

My day usually begins with coffee and toast and ends with drifting off to sleep with a comedy podcast droning away under my pillow.

Name your three favourite places in Auckland to eat, drink and play
The Fridge in Kingsland has the most delicious Lamb Wraps. I think I lived for a month on them when we were making the last Pitch Black album.
My ‘“local” is the Piha RSA. I love the informal vibe, tinged with the ritual of standing for The Ode as the sun goes down. Its always a nice moment when everyone in the room stops and takes a moment to think about someone other than themselves.
Lately I’ve been going to dances at the Bacco Room held by the Lion Rockers Hi-Fi Soundsystem. They spin vintage Roots Reggae 7-inches on a hand-built PA system that is world-conquering, and a bit hard to describe if you’ve never been. Imagine having all the water molecules in your body vibrated by external air pressure for 6 hours. You really do come out a different person – and the vibe is always lovely!

Tell us something we’d be surprised to know about you
Because I work so much in music every day, I probably listen to more comedy for fun when I want something to relax to. I find it incredibly hard to switch off the Producer’s brain and not analyse the music to death. Unless its of the absolute highest calibre, then the music can sweep me away, otherwise I’m picking it to bits. Hey it’s my job! (See 2nd answer above)

Pick a book and a park you’d like to read it in, anywhere in the world.
I’m going to be moving to New York for the rest of 2016 so I’ll have to say Central Park, with the next A Song of Ice and Fire book (aka Game of Thrones): The Winds of Winter.

Tell us a little bit about Ruaumoko.
The AAF performance of the work is a product of collaboration.

Moss Patterson, the artistic director of Atamira got me together with Gareth Farr the composer to create soundscapes and music that could go under the orchestra and add another sonic layer to the show. Its about the god of earthquakes and volcanoes, so my job is to get the Civic rattling with sub-sonic frequencies. Gareth and Moss and I developed most of the soundscape last year, so when I came into rehearsals and saw 100 school children dancing to the music, I was quite moved by the beauty of what they’ve achieved. I literally had a tear or two.

What else are you working on at the moment?
Getting out of the country at the end of the week! Writing Pitch Black album number five with Mike Hodgson – he’s currently in London so we’ve been collaborating via the web. I go to London in April for two weeks to finish the album, then we’ll be back next summer to tour it round NZ. It’ll be Pitch Black’s 20th anniversary, so we’ll be making a big noise!

If everyone in the world had a theme song that played when they walked into a room, what would yours be and why?
The full 16-minute disco arrangement of Star Wars by Meco. I bought that cassette in 1978 and for a long time it was the only way to re-live the peak experience that I’d had in my life to that date. You can probably decode all my musical output from that tape!

Ruaumoko is playing for one night only at The Civic on the 12th of March. GET TICKETS >>