Steve Jolliffe

Musician Steve Jolliffe is the featured interview subject of Dreams Word # 16.

His official website is http://www.stevejolliffe.net/.

This summary of his musical biography was written by Christopher in 2015, from published interviews. Mistakes are entirely due to misinterpretations by Chris.

Steve is from England and composes and performs with piano and keyboards, and with wind instruments (flutes, saxophones, and wind synthesizer).

While in (college level) art school to study painting, Steve discovered this musical aptitude for playing and for improvisational composing as another form of emotional and spiritual connection.
Responding to an ad in Melody Maker seeking a saxophonist, Steve was an early member of the band The Joint, led by Rick Davies. Steve just in time for the band’s relocation to work in Switzerland.
While in Switzerland, the group performed (but didn’t write) the music for the art film “The Happening.”
The film’s composer suggested Steve get a musical education in Germany at the Berlin Konservatorium.
After Steve left, The Joint disbanded and Rick Davies founded Supertramp, which went on to enormous commercial success.

While in Berlin, Steve met Edgar Froese and the two formed a trio with a drummer who didn’t work out, and who was replaced by Steve and Edgar adding Klaus Schultze, to form Tangerine Dream (1969-71 version). After Steve left to return to England, Tangerine Dream went on to enormous commercial success.

Back in London, in response to Steve’s ad in Melody Maker seeking a new opportunity, Steve joined the band Steamhammer just in time for their relocation to work in Germany.
Steve left, gave up on music as a profession, and had a time of soul searching, music as art with spiritual meaning, and various travels and adventures (including being part of a music duo in Greece), while financially broke.

Steve got back in touch with Edgar Froese, who asked Steve to rejoin Tangerine Dream (1978-79 version, with Chris Franke and Klaus Krieger) back in Berlin. After a while Edgar disbanded that lineup, as professional friction was clearly sky-high between Edgar and Steve, so Steve left to return to England.
Steve scored the film “Drake’s Venture” but commercial success with music was elusive for him.
He relocated to the U.S. to try a new environment.
While in the U.S. he created a thirteen episode instructional TV series, “The Art of the Music Workstation,” to explain how to use the revolutionary, compact, affordable, and personally empowering technology of the music workstation to compose, record, and perform music.
After a while, he felt being in the U.S. was not the right situation for him, and left to return to England.
After continued adventures and losses, he mentioned in a 2008 interview, now available on his web site, that his goal was to “Buy a camper van and hit the road as a musical gypsy.”

Elana lived in her motorhome during most of the Dreams Word years. If Steve actually did have some camper time, Elana would have been delighted to have discussed it with him. I could picture “Playlist for Small Spaces” as a new special feature of Dreams Word!

In early 2015, Edgar Froese suddenly died.

Later in 2015, Steve released a new album, “Magical: in Memory of Edgar Froese.” The album is available directly from Steve’s web site at http://www.stevejolliffe.net/store/magical/. An excerpt is available at a popular free videos site. I’m not linking to that as I don’t know if it was uploaded with Steve’s blessing. I will say that, in my opinion, the sense of friendship and loss conveyed by the music was very touching for me to hear, and that the album very clearly pays tribute to the classic Tangerine Dream sound in a way that will delight TD fans.

I am glad to discover that Steve is still making music as a way to express how he feels, to connect with spiritual meaning, and to enjoy sharing these experiences with others. I hope to make contact with him soon to see what updates I should make in this biographical summary, and to follow up on some questions since his last published interview. – Christopher, December 2015