In 2012, Rafiq Bhatia sat on a stoop in Brooklyn with NBC New York to talk about his philosophy as a musician, both as a composer and as a live bandleader. When he’s writing, he says, he wants to create an architecture that invites people in and allows them to express their own personalities and ideas. And when he’s performing, he leaves space for surprise, or for everyone to respond as human beings to everyone else. “All of us, as people, live our lives as improvisers,” he says. “When it comes to music, I want that element of surprise.” Give the clip a few minutes, and make sure to highlight Rafiq’s set, where he’ll play his terrific 2018 LP, Breaking English, at Big Ears 2019. He’s part of our 12-hour overnight drone concert, too.