Exclusive interview with ‘Nomadfunk Ensemble’ leader Marc E Moglen.
24/7 VALENCIA: Tell us something about your musical background and education…
MARC E MOGLEN OF NOMADFUNK ENSEMBLE: I sang in musical theatre as a child, and later picked up bass guitar and piano. I went on to research in the field of musicology, interested in a variety of issues from musical tonality to computer music composition to Bach. I’d like to call myself a self-taught composer but there is really no such thing. Like all musicians, I stand on the shoulders of giants and try to keep the ball rolling in the right direction.
What is the ‘NOMADFUNK’ Ensemble? The NOMADFUNK Ensemble is my rotating cast of some of the most phenomenal musicians you will find in Valencia, who have been given one instruction: “Funk like you’ve never funked before.” The consequence is virtuosic improvisation which takes themes from around the world and turns them into head-bopping funk beats. Besides standard instrumentation like bass, guitar, drums, and piano, we also introduce exotic world instruments like the Chinese “pipa”. We are totally instrumental, and we play only original pieces. Some of the musicians who perform with NOMADFUNK include Pau Viguer on keyboard, Anthony Lafond on drums, and Alex Finardi on guitar- and we’re known to mix it up with guest artists so there always something new.
Define funk….There’s plenty of info on the history of funk as defined by such greats such as James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic, Sly & the Family Stone, and many more. More than that, Funk has influenced nearly every other genre of modern music. It is defined by a an emphasis on the first beat of the measure- for those who care about the technical implications- but more than that, it is all about a subservience to a distinctive bouncy rhythm- and about generating positive vibes.
Could you describe the magic of the bass? The bass guitar is a truly versatile instrument that many listeners may not pay attention to but is inevitably a core part of any song. There have been many musicians who have taken it beyond its supportive role to a melodic lead instrument. But the important thing to remember is that it always there to support the rest of the band. Being the composer, band leader, and bassist for NOMADFUNK might sound like a lot, but it all works together quite nicely. Furthermore, funky bass- particularly the technique known as “Slapping and Popping” was made famous by Funk Music- and you might here it once or twice during our concert.
How do you find Valencia as a place to live and work as a musician? Valencia benefits from a wealth of incredibly talented musicians. I’m fortunate to work with several of them! Just keeping to the bass, there are phenomenal local musicians such as Garry Jackson, Javi Escamilla Diaz, and Josias Pedrosa. Definitely go check them out if you get the chance! Like anywhere it can be tough to make a living off of performing music, but I think most musicians would say they do it because the love it, myself included.
What can we expect of your upcoming shows in Valencia? Out next show is at ‘Funkadelia’ (C. Marqués de Zenete, 5, 46007 Valencia) on Saturday, June 24th at 20:00h. It will be a fun one with some exciting guest artists. We are lining up our summer dates, so follow https://www.instagram.com/nomadfunktribe/ on Instagram and see more at nomadfunk.com
Interview by Will McCarthy
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
“Images: Diana Betancourt – Delfoi Design”