Liv Monaghan is busy every minute of every day. When not self-producing her debut EP or performing at Paris’ most iconic jazz venues, such as Café Cave, La Scéne Théléme or Sunset Sunshine, Liv can be seen absorbing the sights and sounds of her home borough, Montmartre, the capital’s city historic artist quarter. Here, she finds all the inspiration she needs for her Bird&Bass project, an alternative jazz group, which fuses Liv’s original compositions with jazz standards.
When not in musical mood, Liv is also driven by the “poetry of what we wear” and pursues her art, fashion and design passions for her boutique clothing website, altofigaro.com, and can be often found feeling fabrics in the 18th arrondissement’s vintage clothes stores and flea markets. Liv found time to squeeze us in to her busy schedule and, today, she has music on her mind…
Q. Lovely to meet you Liv. You’re a very busy person, so let’s jump straight in with the first question. Writing, Recording, Performing – what are up to right now?
“I’ve just recorded a demo of original songs with the the same trio line-up that will be performing at Rootstock. We would like to record the songs again as part of an album I hope to release the autumn of this year. Other than that, lots of writing, reading, listening and performing!”
Q. In two words how would you describe your Alt. Jazz group’s sound?
Q. What do you love most about making music?
“I get to be myself.”
Bird&Bass: ‘Horses’ by Liv Monaghan; a stirring cello-led alternative jazz composition
Q. How did you first get into music & what made you want to be a musician?
“I started playing the piano when I was five, and studied the classical flute for some years too. I stopped playing with both when I went to study art history and drama in university. When I moved to Paris, I became a singer by accident because it turned out to be the only way I could make some money!”
Q. Who do you consider to be your idols & have you ever met any of them?
“I love Joni Mitchell. She’s a genius. Other heroes of mine include Duke Ellington, Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake. But, sadly, I never got the chance to meet any of them so I’m holding out for Joni!”
Q. Do you enjoy performing live? Your singing is so strong and so fragile at the same time, it feels as if you bare your soul to the audience…
“I always love performing, but conditions such as crew, sound quality and the mood of the audience that can make the difference between simply performing music and making magic.”
Edith and the Kingpin: Liv and Seva Medan take the upright bass for a walk
Q. What makes for a great Liv Monaghan show?
“We switch quickly between styles, tempos and moods which can keep the audience on its toes and interested! We play a lot with artistic improvisation, so we’re all on the journey of discovery together. None of that can be rehearsed, so we just play with what’s in the air and the soul of the audience at that moment. “
Q. What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?
“I self-produced my first original EP, Beauty in the Park, in 2016. That was an important personal achievement.”
City Cat: Liv Monaghan performs most weekends in Paris’ most revered jazz venues
Q. Are you looking forward to Rootstock 2017? Will you be doing anything different for this show than your regular Paris shows?
“Yes, I am really looking forward to this! We are preparation for the festival now, rehearsals all the time and lots of individual practice. For Rootstock, we’ll be performing an original set. Some songs will never have been performed for an audience before so… expect the unexpected!”
Q. Burgundy wine and Château de Pommard… how much do you know?
“Well, I have yet to taste a bad wine from Burgundy, so it’s safe to say that I’m really looking forward to indulging in a verre or two post show! I’ve never been to Château de Pommard before, but it looks like a dream location. The beautiful architecture, the lush landscape, it’s like a cinematographer’s dream. No doubt I’ll be inspired to kickstart a new song into fruition.”
Q. Your players in Bird&Bass all seem awesome individually. Who are they?
“We have Soheil Tabrizi-Tadeh on guitar, an incredible talent. Soheil is a composer in his own right, though he has yet to compose any songs with my band. He is a multi-instrumentalist and a wonderfully sensitive player. Sava Medan, on upright bass, as well as compositions and arrangements. Sava is a virtuoso player and has performed with some of the leading names in jazz. He is one of the best bass players on the European scene, and his creative improvisations seem to come from a bottomless well.”
Alto Figaro: Artist by day, singer by night – Liv Monaghan
Q. You have just released the fantastic EP Beauty in the Park. Can your fans expect any new material again soon?
“I am still in discussions about this. I don’t have the precise details to share with you yet, but I hope to release an album by the end of the year.”
LIV’S GIG LINE-UP 2017
Liv’s debut EP, Beauty in the Park, can be purchased here:
For more information on Liv’s art and fashion stylings, head on over to www.altofigaro.com