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My Passion for Jazz

Interview: Mark Hauser's passion

What happens when your fascination with playing the sax takes effect?

I would say... there are moments when my solos could move me to tears because they are so successful, because every note fits and because the solo even moves me deeply.
Jazz press: What does that mean, when something moves you deeply?
Mark: It totally penetrates my emotions and I can express exactly how I feel in each and every moment: aggressive, sad, happy, pensive… But I'm not trying to achieve a transcendent state. I am the master of my instrument and I want to control it from A-Z, just like a Formula 1 driver. 100% focus and intense concentration. There's no room for mistakes. That goes for me and my instrument. Speed, technique, and embouchure: everything must be perfectly aligned and I always want to push myself to the extreme. This only happens when I exercise 100% control. I never close my eyes when I play solos or improvise. I am in the here and now.
When I exceed my own limits, I create enormous tension and the audience is amazed. It's the audience that closes its eyes and drinks in the sound. And that gives me what I need: when I can enchant people.

Jazz press: So does that mean that you prefer to move your audience into another realm?
Mark: Yes, that's what I want. You've hit the nail on the head there. It's not about me. I want to work. And I am far too ambitious to want to lose control. I always want to take my instrument to the extreme. Do you know what goes through my mind when I create such tension?
Jazz press: No.
Mark: I wonder whether I can do it again. But one thing’s for sure: I don't want to be in a state of subconscious, because I’d miss everything. If I were to lose control, which for me would be like losing consciousness, I'd come round again and then wonder: how was my solo? That would be catastrophic for me. I'm different. I want to analyse exactly what I've done and learn from it.
Jazz press: So you could say that you live by the motto: It's not about you. It's about what you mean to your audience.
Mark: Yes, that's exactly what I mean.

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