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Paul Kean

image The Bats – Copyright Flying Nun Records

“Keep your influences wide-ranging and find your own style – it’s often hidden in the “empty” spaces left between.”

How would you describe what you do?

I ultimately see myself as a creator and producer of live and recorded music and also an enabler of other musicians to help them express themselves through producing events.

My main instrument is electric bass but I also explore sounds with guitar, keyboards, percussion – anything that resonates.

What was your most recent project?

Recording, mixing, mastering and performing with a music project called The Sundae Painters along with Hamish Kilgour, Alec Bathgate and Kaye Woodward – some of my favourite musicians. This included making a video to accompany a song that is being released on a 7” Single being manufactured in France.

What project have you worked on that you’re the most proud of?

Looking back to a period of my life when I produced/created 16 years of Orientation Festivals for students (and public) at the University Of Canterbury. On reflection, I enabled a massive number of performers from many genres, named or unnamed, to gain exposure and an audience. Original music was the main focus but arts also included actors, visual artists, writers, poets, comedians, dancers, film makers, sculptors, electronic art creators and much more.

The Bats – an ongoing and long lived original music entity that’s released 10 albums and dozens of singles and EP’s. We have toured internationally many times and retain the same line-up for 39 years – and counting.

What is essential for creatives to have in their life?

Inspiration, tools for expressing their creativity, a roof over their head with a bed and adequate healthy food to keep them going  –  and preferably an audience – and love.

What inspires you about Ōtautahi?

Diversity in creativity and culture. I’m also inspired by our clearly defined seasons, native bird song and our proximity to the sea, the plains, the port hills, rivers and mountains.

What piece of advice about your creative work has served you well?

Keep your influences wide-ranging and find your own style – it’s often hidden in the “empty”  spaces left between.

What’s the biggest misconception about your creative work?

It all sounds the same.

What Christchurch artists do you most admire?

Stephen Cogle, Mary-Rose Crook, Tony Fomison, Rita Angus, Graham Bennett

What artwork/piece of music/performance has taken your breath away?

Peter Gutteridge performing with Snapper in the UCSA Ballroom. Dirty Three in the same venue are a close 2nd.

What do you wish you’d have known about creative work when you were younger?

To make a living and succeed you need the help of a champion, benefactor or manager that loves what you do and can passionately sing your praises to a wider audience.

What’s your favourite hidden secret in Ōtautahi?

Unseen love lurks everywhere.

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