We’ve dug deep in the basement of the Internet to bring this Inquisition back to life. Following is a quick Grace & Fury interview with the inventive avant-garde guitarist Janet Feder from approximately 2003.
What’s the last album you listened to?
Cassandra Wilson’s ‘New Moon Daughter’ after dinner tonight. Very romantic. Her covers especially of U2’s ‘Love is Blindness’, Son House’s ‘Death Letter’, and Neil Young’s ‘Harvest Moon’ slay me.
What is one album you feel everyone should listen to?
Glenn Gould’s (1982) recording of J. S. Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’.
Who is one person, present or past, that you would love to collaborate/jam with.
Who is one person outside of music that you admire and why.
You wouldn’t know her – her name was Dr. Gertrude Hausmann. She was my guide and my friend for my whole life until she passed last January. She was brilliant even when it caused her to be unpopular, courageously true to herself, passionate about family, friendships, and nature, and compassionate always. If my life is even a little like hers it will be worthwhile and good.
Do you read music?
Any other obsessions/passions besides music?
What was your first guitar, do you still have it?
When I was seven I imagined I could play ukelele chords on the top four strings of the guitar – they were all I could reach on my Dad’s plywood ‘Gibson J-45’ knock-off that he’d bought for about $10 when he was in the Navy. That guitar was so beautiful to me, all sunburst and funky smelling and had strings about 3/4 inch off the fretboard. I loved it so much I wanted to be it. It died a majestic death-by-drowning in the Colorado River. By then he’d bought me my very own guitar, a little 3/4 sized Gibson mahogany folk guitar with fake tortoise binding and pickguard which I stupidly sold for a…oh well let’s not go there. If anyone out there has that Gibson I’d buy it back in a second.
For a more current take, see also this NPR interview with Feder from 2012.