Is there a particular rhythm you have around your creative work time? If so, what does it look like?
I usually practice at the end of the day. Sometimes I have a set routine—scales, etudes, improvisation and composition; however, there are times when I may just play along with a recording or even just listen to music. I try to never skip more than one day.
How many work spaces do you have and how/why do they work for you?
I have two. I have a converted garage as my main practice space. It has a piano for plinking out some ideas and I have an old laptop and usb microphone to record ideas. For my second space, sometimes I'll leave the bass in my bedroom, so I can pick it up in the middle of the night if I want/need to.
Do you do any "cross training" (activities that may enhance or spark your creativity)?
For a short while I was writing poetry again, which helped me think of musical phrases as pictures. I don't really do that any more. I am so enamored with tone, shape and rhythm that I rarely need additional motivation.
Where do you seek inspiration for your work?
In music, I find inspiration in the passion of the form as much as the form itself. I take inspiration from music, visual artists, and movement. Just about anything can get me going.
Generally, how long are your work periods?
I never feel like I practice long enough, but usually after an hour, my mind starts to wander and I don't think I'm getting much out of my work. I usually just put the bass down at that point and walk away.
Do you suffer from perfectionism and if so, what techniques do you use to manage this?
I don't think I suffer from perfectionism, but I often think most musicians are better than I am. I have been slow to accept myself as an artist.
If you don't, what experiences do you feel are responsible for taking you off the hook here?
Part of it is that in the past I have tried to define myself against a certain approach or style. I'm slowly coming out of that now. As a result, I'm playing like me and not trying to sound like anyone in particular. I'm working up to becoming the "badass" a teacher said he saw in me.
Do you have a creative support system? How important is this to your process?
I have a community of musicians and of course my family. My wife actually doesn't like the kind of music I play, but she loves me and respects what I do.
More about Markus Hunt:
I began my study of double bass at Howard University under Chris Sloniger, and later with Chuck Sher, Glenn Richman (Bobby Hutcherson) and Clarence Stephens (Church of Coltrane). Borrowing from 20th century European classical and American avant-garde jazz forms, my approach is both spiritual and intellectual. Over the past twenty years, I have shared the stage with such dynamic musicians as William Knowles, Lawrence Wheatley, Maritri, Eric Marshall, Rent Romus, Thollem McDonas, Tom Djll, Timothy Orr, Philip Everett and Jesse Canterbury. Additionally, and in collaboration with conductor/pianist David Leighton, I have directed two operas for Operaworks (NYC), namely The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Thea Musgrave) and Philomel (Milton Babbitt).