Martin Tillman recently released a record featuring Elton's guitarist and musical director on one of thr tracks. The cellist himself once played on an LP of Elton's. He spoke with Eltonjohnworld.com's Chief Editor about this, and other topics
EJW: One of the many recordings you've appeared on was Elton's Peachtree Road. Do you recall how you got the assignment, and what playing on Too Many Tears was like?
TM: I remember I was in Switzerland and Davey Johnstone called me to find out if I would like to perform for Elton and also put together a string section. . . .
It was great fun. I was very star-struck with Elton in the room, but it all felt very organic, and Davey is a master at making everyone relaxed. So it was a great first encounter for me.
EJW: You have worked with Elton's latest producer, T Bone Burnett. What did this entail?
TM: We've done several projects together, including Cold Mountain. We always seemed to hit it off.
EJW: When Elton celebrated his 60th birthday with a Madison Square Garden concert, weren't you also onstage?
TM: Yes, it was amazing. Once in a lifetime, and now I feel it was one of the most important events in my life.
EJW: You have done film soundtracks as well as compositions for TV shows, ads, and events such as the 84th Academy Awards. Which have most appealed to you, and why?
TM: Batman trilogy, Pirate of the Caribbean 1-5, Black Hawk Down . . . There were monumental movies to work on. It now feels even more incredible, looking back at it.
It was a time where one could experiment a lot more.
I love working with people like Davey, Elton, Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson Williams.
EJW: Another special endeavour is called Superhuman. Could you discuss Davey Johnstone's input, and why you dedicated the record to your wife, Eva?
TM: Davey plays on 'Celluloid Spaces,' performing acoustic and electric guitars. He is such an unbelievable master musician and helped lift the spirit tremendously of Superhuman: I am ecstatic!
The album was written for my wife who is battling with MS. A very serious illness. So I decided to write her an album to encourage her not to give up.
I had help recording from some talents who've worked with Michael Jackson, Toto, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa and Sting.
EJW: Are you touring in support of Superhuman?
MT: We are planning to start performing live in 2017 . . . with a quite amazing new concept of a stage show!