In this series of interviews we’ll be speaking to the people who are at the heart of the Strummin’ concerts, delving deep into their thoughts, and snooping into their music room. Opening this series is Joseph Axiak – a 22-year-old mechanical engineer by day and a keyboardist, bassist and a drummer the rest of the time. He is involved as a band member during the Strummin’ concert. In his free time he enjoys listening to Dream Theater. Joseph is also the music coordinator for the 2012 edition of the concert.
How long have you been involved in Strummin’?
I’ve been involved in the concerts since the third edition of Strummin’ in 2004. Over the years I took various roles, as a singer, percussionist or choir member. However in 2008 I entered the Strummin’ Committee and joined the band.
How did you get to know about the Strummin’ project?
My sister was one of the few to start the concerts back in 2002. After attending the first two concerts, I decided I wanted to be part of it!
What are/were your responsibilities in the running towards the show?
I entered the committee as a band coordinator, which meant I managed the band which accompanies the singers and guitarists throughout the shows. As from this year, I’ve been appointed music coordinator meaning that I work with the band, singers and guitarists coordinators to make sure things are running smoothly. During the shows I also form part of the band as a keyboardist.
Why do you keep coming back to the show?
Strummin’ isn’t simply another musical project on my agenda. It’s a shared effort between a community and it involves so many people all sharing a common goal. I guess Strummin’ makes me feel part of a (rather large!) family.
Your favourite moment during a Strummin’ show?
I feel happiest when I’m surrounded by smiling faces. This includes the guitarists who proudly play the songs they’ve learnt throughout the summer, the singers who walk off stage with a satisfied look on their faces, the audience who enjoys the show and applauds in return and many other moments!
What instruments do you play at the concert?
My keyboard rig includes my Yamaha Motif XS rack module controlled by an M-audio Axiom, and my Novation Ultranova. In the past I sometimes brought along my Casio Privia PX-400R and Alesis Micron. Just recently I got a new Korg CX-3 which is sure to make an appearance in this year’s show!
Your hopes and dreams for the musical future?
I’d like to continue playing for as long as I can, maturing in terms of musical creativity and technique. I love performing, and I hope to carry on doing so. I also wish to be a part of Strummin’ for years to come, hopefully pushing it beyond its limits, making it bigger and better!