What is your earliest memory?

John Wallace < v

JW: I think my oldest memory, is uh, clear memory, is looking out of the window with my aunt, looking at an incredible thunder and lightning, electrical storm. And seeing that in the sky - becoming aware of creation and how massive and big everything was - and the sky, and asking, “Where did it all come from?”

MB: How old were you?

JW: I was three or four - something like that, quite early. My early memories are all very mixed up. All of my young friends seemed to be female, and they used to dress me up as a cat or whatever and put me in a little pram and take me around. We had a bomb shelter next door at the bottom of the garden where all of these air raid shelters were that after the war people turned into little green houses and things like that. And I can remember getting in gangs; we used to throw stones at each other and fight and those sort of things. I didn't like that very much. I preferred playing with the girls and pretending to be mummy’s and daddy’s and things like that.

MB: Going back to your first memory - the thunder and lightning - do you also remember, for example, the temperature in the room?

JW: The temperature was very warm because of the fireplace. There was a coal fire. Everything was coal fired at that time.

MB: And the sound in that environment?

JW: The sound was very crackly and boom, whoosh. It was just incredible, it was like a fireworks display, it was just so colorful. And then my earliest memories of sound are of my mother singing and my grandfather singing Scottish ballads and my father playing the tenor horn. I remember a very early memory is of my mother switching on the radio, this is when I was about two, I think, “oh, this is your father playing in…” you know, from a broadcast, of the BBC, “…in the band!" And we turned it on, and I can remember saying, "But I can't hear my dad!" You know, because it was a big sound; it was the whole band. I remember that from very early on I loved these little catchy tunes. This thing came out in 1951: "How much is that doggy in the window? The one with curly tail..." You know that? And that came out. And I remember writing to the radio as a request... there was this women’s thing on, where everybody did a request on the radio, and it came over that my request was for this "How much is that doggy in the window". That must have been when I was about two, so that was my first tune. And I have loved catchy tunes ever since. You know, Beethoven and Brahms: fantastic writing. My taste has slightly changed, I suppose, but I love the motives that we have in Wagner - and in Bach as well. We play the trumpety motives that keep coming back - keeping the cornerstones of the architecture. I always have found simple things very attractive.

Mazen Kerbaj < v

MB: You were born in Beirut. What is your first memory… early memory.

MK: Each time I try to remember, it’s a comic book scene, which is crazy! It’s a French mainstream comics called “Ric Hochet" And it’s this story where they take the “peripherique", I don’t know what you call it in English, you know this, periphery? And there was a peripherique in Lebanon where they used to take me to when I was young, and he jumps from the peripherique, so this scene remains my oldest souvenir ever, it’s a scene from a comic which is funny, but... And then real souvenirs, it’s way later, I mean I can't remember...

MB: Can you remember the first sounds? Can you recall a sound that you register?

MK: I recall, of course, the sound of bombs is really very present, but probably because it’s bombs I recall them now, Oh these were bombs already. So, of course, I was born in 1975, with the civil war, and these sounds were quite present, and listening back to them, or listening to bombs again in 2006, for instance, or mostly in 2006 because it was way later, then it was frightening how much scary it is, but how nostalgic it is, with us, with my generation. Because it’s sounds from… it is like a smell you used to smell when you were young. And it’s crazy because you are scared because you know it is a bomb, but then there is a sort of exaltation and you don't know what to do with it.

MB It’s not connected to fear automatically?

MK It is connected to fear but also to an enjoyable nostalgia. It’s like I take you back to this place where you used to pass your vacation when you were three to five, let’s say, and then you totally forgot, then you are there and you smell this, and you know this. It is very awkward to have this sentiment, this feeling while you are very afraid and while you know it’s so dangerous, and then you have kids, and you are afraid for them etc etc So it is very weird to realise you have this, it is like your brain doesn't want to accept the ideas that you might be nostalgic about this thing. But you are, we are, we all are, we are a totally fucked up generation.

Maite Hontelé < v

MH: Oh gosh, that's really hard because it's something I sometimes ask myself. Because I have a few negative memories, but I refuse to assume that's my first memory. Well, no, I have a good one, yeah. I think my mother was taking me to nursery school on the back of a bicycle in Utrecht. We were riding along a canal and then we were almost there. So those earliest memories have to do with nursery school and playing there and the very sweet lady there. That I felt good there.

MB: on the back of the bike, so you were probably around four?

MH: I think so, something like that, yes.

MB: If you're on the back of your bike.

MH: That's right, on the back of the bike, and my mother in a red mackintosh.

MB: So can you remember colours, and smells, and sounds?

MH: Yeah, I'm not sure about smells, but sounds and some people - and the ambience. A kind of security, which apparently was important to me even then. Very Dutch, isn't it? Also because of the raincoat of my mother, because it was raining, and then on the bike... An independent woman taking her daughter to nursery school. That's actually very Dutch, in every way.

MB: Independent in what sense?

MH: My mother really wanted to raise a child, but she didn't want to do it alone, so when she got pregnant she decided to form a community to make sure she had people who could take care of me and later my little brother as well. It was a really nice kind of community. So nothing like a commune, but we ate together and almost every day someone different would look after me, knowing who my mother was. That allowed my mother to work and study and have a child, and she really wanted that.

MB: Did you realise that, in that sense, you weren't a standard family, or was that just the way it was?

MH: Yes, that was just the way it was. I always really enjoyed it. That was a major advantage. Of course I saw that around me people were living in normal families, but mostly I just thought, “This is much nicer, eating together.” I was always really interested in listening to the adults at the table. I think I really benefited from that.

MB: Yes. So the acoustic environment you grew up in was a city and a very busy social life.

MH: Yes, and also the piano that was in the living room. My father used to play it a lot, I think, and he was self-taught. He taught himself to play. And he was playing salsa-like tunes, even back then. He spent a lot of time figuring out how to do it - how the bass went together with the piano, how it worked, that syncope. But he also loved improvisation. So he would listen to something and then try to imitate it, or he would just play endlessly on his own. My father was always occupied with music, always listening to music and collecting, but also playing. He did play the piano, and he also had a guitar. He played flamenco guitar which of course is very difficult as an amateur, but he really mastered it. He played Bulería, which is very complicated rhythmically and in terms of technique. But he could do it. And to such an extent that a friend of his, who did play professionally, said, "If you really studied, you'd be great." But that wasn't what my father wanted.

Rajesh Mehta < v

Rajesh Mehta: Well, my very first memory was in Calcutta, which where I am born - in India. I think somewhere between one and two. So early… Because my father left… I remember him leaving to Mumbai and going to the United States at three and a half. He made trips away. So I remember the earliest memory about… is the atmosphere - the collective sound and images and sensory experiences in Calcutta. So I remember at that time, for example, the monsoon coming. I was born at the end of April, and I remember it coming a little later. I remember the rain, the sound of the rain. The sound of the mosque… There are mosques. There are churches. There are Hindu temples in Calcutta… So I remember the mosques. And then additionally to that I remember hearing all these mantras connected to the religion I was raised in. So we had to go to the temple everyday - or every few days. Jain, or Jainism, which is a contemporary religion to Buddhism. They’re strict vegetarians. They don’t eat any eggs. Until I was 15 or 16 I never had even an egg.

MB: Oh my. You’re vegan?

RM: No, not vegan. They have dairy products. You can have animal products, but nothing that could turn into life.

MB: So from what age did you hear the mantras?

RM: From the beginning. Since I was a baby. There are certain mantras you have to recite before you go to sleep. So I had my fill of some of them. MB: And that is always through melody?

RM: No. No, sometimes they’re monotonic. Sometime they have simple melodies There’s a Hindu melody - [insert name] - that has a melodic line, but other ones which are just…

MB: But then it’s on one tone, one pitch?

RM: Yeah.

MB: But it’s not like speaking? It’s more like…

RM: It’s more like: [chants] So they have the Vedic and Sanskrit text. And what’s important in Indian singing - we talked about Global Breath - is the Nadabrahma. It’s before the “Urklang”, this sound of God. There is the idea that there is a sound that is unheard before the sound that is heard. There’s an unstruck sound and there’s a stuck sound.

Bruce Dicky < v

Marco: Can you recall your very earliest memory of sound?

Bruce: Of sound? Not even musical sound? one of the most striking images that comes to my mind is an oral image and it's because we lived right two houses down from a railway track and the Midwest got all of these freight trains going by and they have this very particular whistles. (WUUUUU) And we would hear that from distance away coming and I still, when I go back to that part of the country and I hear one of those whistles it just takes me immediately back to my childhood. So that's a striking image I have. I don't think I ever connected it to music and as far as choosing the trumpet or the cornet over the clarinet.

Marco: But would that be one of the earliest memories, the signal of the train?

Bruce: Ja, I think so.

Marco: Why would that occur stronger or more apparent than the actual dschungdschucku- dschung-dschucku...

Bruce: Because you hear it from much further away, before the train is anywhere near you hear this whistle and it has this kind of romantic appeal. You know, you want to jump on the train and see where it takes you.

Cuong Vu < v
Well, some of it I don't even know if they're dreams or false memories or... and you know, I think, the same way with most children, we don't remember past a certain age, so it's almost misleading to... As you... When you asked your question, I was starting to think, "Wow, that's pretty intense. What does a baby hear right coming out of the womb... outside of hearing from the mother's womb... coming outside and hearing all the commotion of being born?" That would be amazing to remember, right? And we can process those sounds the way we interact with sounds now. But as far as I remember, some of the most impressive sounds that... they have to be impressive to stick in your mind, I think, and two things are a dog barking - chasing after me because I was bit - and then another sound is probably just the sound of a band... a live band. Because my dad was in the army band, and it was just guitars, drums... you know, typical rock band. And just... he brought me to rehearsal, and I sat in front of the bass drum and felt that "BOOM, BOOM." And just the... I remember the details of the sound pretty clearly and having it make my eyes blink, and then you feel that "PHEW" right in your gut. Those sounds are what I remember. I also remember the sound of bombs, actually, nearby. Not very close, but loud enough where it makes a child feel unsafe and startled. And I knew that my father had to go to the base, so I was pretty worried. Even though I should've been worried about all of this, but I was worried about him because he was in the army. He was a soldier but also served as a musician. I mean he did some warfare, but he was also a musician.
If you would send a sound around the earth, what would it sound like?

Laura Vukobratovic < v

M. And can you imagine that there is a tone that goes around the earth?

L. Yes. But now I can't say which one, but yes!

M. What kind of tone would you wish could go around the earth? What kind of sound would that be?

L. Do you mean sound from an instrument now?

M. A trumpet sound, that you find ideal for it.

L. I can't describe it now. For me it's a kind of warmth, but still with incredible assertiveness. Something that radiates, something that goes on effortlessly, with an incredible projection, a desire to go on.

M. What pitch?

L.: (sings) That is for me... I just always have that in my ear. That is something where, when I sing it, I always notice that my whole body vibrates and resonates. This resonance is also important for me,

L: enough?

Gabriele Cassone < v

GC: Wake up! This one. Loud sound. “Wake up people, wake up people! Before it’s too late for our earth.” I feel that we have no time to save the earth from the pollution and the politics. Too many people in the world. So, wake up. In this way. Could be a cry, something loud. And also, now I play something with the trumpet to make you hear our earth is suffering. From pollution from… Interpret the sound of crying. And then another sound speaking about the beauty of the earth. The beautiful thing we are destroying with pollution and other stuff - industries, petrol. And the beauty and a sound that can show the beauty. So, Maurice André sound or Maurice André melody. Some Stockhausen piece. I don’t know. Or something light. Something that can enlighten. Something peaceful. This is the world we can have and then wake up. See how much suffering we are doing. And then... See, listen to the beauty. The noise of nature. And the smell of the nature. If a sound can be the smell of something. The smell of flowers. And then to be happy we don’t need two cars and 5 telephones. And maybe soon we will lose all this stuff. We don’t know what happens, but we go, go go... Who knows? So something that can wake up and give voice to the heart.

Peter Evans < v

PE: hmmmm, I guess my favorite sounds are ones that ... not like a fractal but like a single sound actually has tons and tons of little sounds inside of it and I think it's the most for me that's one of the most seductive types of sounds that there is and it’s kind of inviting even though it might sound crazy. so I would do that. like a two-second or less.. no one-second just blast of stuff. like a little world. like sending a another little planet around the planet. that's what I would do. Yeah. and I think that's something I really that type of kernel of sound - it’s very aspirational thing that's never as complete as you really want it to be, so I found myself... there's a way of playing for me especially in solo context where I'm trying to fit..basically just spit out these little moments and just cram them full of as much stuff as I can. especially in different registers and different dimensions and all that it's a kind of hopeful way of trying to create a single sound. it's not really a single sound it's a bunch of sounds put together. I wouldn't send some simple breath sound. I wouldn't do that. other people were going to do that so...

Maite Hontelé < v
MH: Well, the best thing would be if you could send out a sound that almost encompasses multiple emotions. That already includes both minor and major, or something like that. That you're almost sending a package into the world of possibilities. And perhaps everyone will hear a different possibility. Everyone sees their own reality in it. I immediately think of Bach – not that Bach did that, but there is a lot of musical truth in Bach for me.

Cuong Vu

Tayler Ho Bynum < v

If you were to send a sound around the planet, what would it sound like?

T: Ya, ya, that’s interesting.

T: I would almost... I wouldn’t want to define what it is, I would want it to be each persons sound...

If I was myself? That’s tough. I don’t know. I would want to improvise it. I would play the sound that is appropriate for the moment, and I don’t know that moment yet, but that’s me. I wouldn’t want to leave out people who don’t feel comfortable improvising, might be something like a set of instructions like, play something you love, like it could be something, rather than predefining what it is, it might be interesting to open it up to however folks might want to interpret it. Or play something you love, or listen to what the person before you did and play something in response to, in conversation, to what they just did.

M: But what would you play? If that were the instruction.

T: I would play my cornet. I might, it might not be so much what I play as in the context that I play it. So if I was to do something like that, I might invite some of my favourite people to a place that I usually play by myself that brings me a lot of inspiration...

M: That’s beautiful

T: So like, invite some people I love to experience something I enjoy so it’s going to be a 3 mile hike, at the end of the hike there will be a lake, and then I will play something for you, I don’t know what that something is going to be yet, but for me it’s almost the people and the context in the moment will define what I want to play more than trying to choose a piece in advance


John Wallace < v

Glasgow, UK, 19th of November 2015, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

JW: No, I never felt that I was a trumpet player or a cornet player, or anything like that. Basically I thought I was a musician, and [the trumpet] was the vehicle for expression - for self expression within a collective, a collective expression. I was brought up in a Protestant Scottish background, and we are taught to subjugate the self for others. We are taught to look at ourselves and see ourselves as others see us. We are very selfconscious from the start, so I was very conscious about the trumpet being perceived as a loud, brash instrument. Brass players were being looked on as being vulgar, and brass bands were at that time beyond the pale - which means that they weren't polite, and you couldn't talk about them in polite society. To like brass bands was of a vulgar taste, so I was complicated by all these things so much that I almost got a phobia about it. The trumpet has always just been a vehicle for me, and I have been ambivalent about the trumpet. I find the trumpet is something that you try to express universals on, and you steal things from other instruments - like the violin, the human voice and the piano - and try to do things like that. I never thought that the trumpet was this one big thing. For me, I suppose it became my identifier, and it is interesting now that I have retired from life as an administrator that I have gone back to the elemental. That I have seen all of this early confusion and so on, and now I am going back to the trumpet as this really wide interest - wider than just this narrow view of a war-like trumpet that is super phallic and expresses manhood, you know.

MB: Did you hate the trumpet?

JW: I hated the trumpet at one stage when I was about 17 or 18 because I had all these adolescent complexities. I had been obsessed with death since I was around the age of 9. It was then that I started to have nightmares. I think it must have been because of the stories that my parents had told me about the German bombers coming across the house to come and bomb Clydeside. I had this airplane engine sound, and in my dream all the bombers were coming. And then it was just black, and that was it. That was death. I had a happy childhood, but those were the nightmares I had when I was the age of about 9. I can remember thinking, "I don't want to be 10! I don't want to be 10! I am 10 - I am going to be ancient! My God, I've got two figures now. I am 9, and I am happy... I don't want to be 10!” And then, when I got to 15 and so on, it was maybe one of the happiest periods of my life. Bnd then I got this adolescent thing: acne - and it was all over. I developed this self loathing - this self hate. Everything that I was good at I put behind. I took it for granted that I played the trumpet. My teacher in school said, “You need to play a musical instrument that has repertory. This is Dennis Brain on the horn. He was fabulous. Listen to these recordings.” So I took up the french horn when I was about 17 or 18, and my father was terribly against that because he had bought me my first trumpet. He brought me to Glasgow, bought me my first trumpet, and it had Kenny Baker's signature on it. It was for a hundred Pounds. It was a Besson international. But then my teacher got this horn for me, so I played the horn for a bit. I got quite good on the horn, but I played in the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline and I played the fourth horn in the “Nutcracker Suite.” And playing the fourth horn...I realized how difficult it was to do - to play the fourth horn. Suddenly, I had another epiphany that if I were going to do music and was going to be taken seriously, I was good at the trumpet. I was better at the trumpet and cornet than on the horn. So I switched back to the trumpet and I got a place at King's College Cambridge because I was a trumpet player and I came from a working class background.

JW: The successor to Ruth Railton was looking for talent..and this is a thing about these colleges that have got choir schools: they look for musical talent absolutely everywhere. So David Willcocks saw this young boy and thought, “Oh, this is great, we've got a trumpet player.” So I went to King's College, and John Miller did exactly the same thing after me. It's been very mixed and complex that the trumpet is shown through all of these doubts and confusions and this obsession with death, you know. Obsession with dying. Death is inevitable, but when you hear the sound of the trumpet it is so optimistic. And this fantastic thing about the trumpet that I have realized now in my 60s is that when you hear the trumpet and it's got this soul in it from the player, it’s as if time stands still and, suddenly, you're in control of death and destiny. That is what the trumpet really does for me. So I think, as I return to my childhood - life tends to be this big cycle - it is becoming pure again. We were much more mature as young people than we were getting credit for. I can remember that moment at age 9, when I confronted death and thought, “I am going to be 10. Time is moving on. What am I going to do with my life? Nine years, and I have done nothing! I am going to be 10” Then when I got to 15, I got Ruth Railton and the orchestra and everything, and of course it was a big confusion. I couldn't think clearly. But now in my later years, I think I am starting to think with a clarity of an 8 or 9 year old again. When people say “mature, mature,” I am trying to become younger and simpler. That is what the sound of the trumpet does for me, now.

Mazen Kerbaj < v

Berlin, 5th of February 2016, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

MK: When you press this here, first you have quarter tones, same here

(Plays) It changes the sound here, so when I do (plays) but if you (plays)

Wife: Oh my god!

MK: It's crazy, right?

Wife: Amazing!

MK: So we're going to kill him, and I keep the trumpet!

Wife, Ok, which method are we going to use this time?

MB: A sharp knife, please

MK: Yeah, this time I will do it!

MB: Use a sharp knife!

MK: (When I was in) an age to ask things, so I would ask what is this, or what is this, it's a table, what is this sound, it was a bomb of course, so it was part of our daily routine, the daily soundscape. So you grew up with it as just a normal thing from your surroundings and you don't ask yourself. And then you grew up you begin to understand it's war, people are dying, but still it's like... it's a game. The more I was getting old, the more the souvenirs were tragic. Not only because of death, but because of course after a certain age, I was afraid of the war. Until a certain age it was a game.

MB: do you know when that turned?

MK: Yeah, I remember one day, because until a certain age it's a game, and also you can not be afraid, so "no, we are very tough, we are kids, so..." you don't really admit you are afraid, or you are not afraid. Then I remember once a huge, very close bomb, I would say now maybe I was 9 years old but I can't remember really. And I remember being very afraid at feeling I might have died with this, it was really in my neighbourhood. Many bombs before fall in the neighbourhood, but this one specifically was really very close and I really felt I could die. And I was very afraid and I was very ashamed to say I'm afraid in front of my cousins. Because It's like saying "I am a Sissy", you know,

MK: The war really invited itself in my work back then, so I couldn't... Now some of my things, of course, I mean it's my life, so of course my life is fed by what I... but I'm as much influenced by wars, and I'm influenced by reading Franz Kafka or seeing Tarkovsky, or I mean by all the baggage that I put in my, my mother calls this your own reservoir. So there is a reservoir in me that I get ideas from, and this reservoir is fed at least as much, if not more, by all what I read, by all what I discovered, what I heard what I saw etc. more than by my childhood of course...

MK: Of course I tried to take trumpet lessons. And after 7 courses with a jazz musician, we had to stop. He didn't believe what I was listening to was music, so... And then I began to discover silent improv, I don't know what to call it, but I mean, not improv like Peter Brötzmann, but improv with textures and stuff. I began to understand, it's not the power you need to...and I began to train by night. My wife was pregnant, I couldn't do sound, so I would train an hour, two hours just on this (demonstration), and discover this small sounds.

MK: When I began to put tubes on the trumpet and discover with the saxophone mouthpiece, and discover I can make the same sound almost on the saxophone, but I can not play, then of course the first day I discover these things that I can make vibrate on top of the trumpet. My interest in the instrument comes back really huge. And a little later I begin to understand how much better, how it's the ultimate instrument for me because it's multidirectional.

MK: So I always found the trumpet very austere and very un- preparable. And then of course it's funny when you know what I do today with it! So, it took time to understand how preparable it is, because my idea of it is really, it's really a sound generator in the best sense of the term. A generator in the sense that you feel it from somewhere and it goes from somewhere else, and you can alter everything with the valves, but it's really focused there.

MK: Also, I don'T know if there is another instrument like this. There is brass instruments like this, but it's all this observation I made on being not trained as a musician, it'S things I discovered just by experience. It's one of the rarest instruments, rare instrument, where the sound is projected far from you, as a musician. So you never hear what everybody is hearing. Never. It's really the relation like, it goes from you, you feel it passing, and then you throw it away. Yeah, like calling, you throw it away from you. And it's quite interesting, this is why also it's close to, like you're saying, to talking or the voice. MK: I came to improv, just to play improv, to music. And I find it fascinating that, as a language, it's as close as you can get to a universal language. And it's not music that is a universal language. Because music, if a jazz player wants to play with a classical trained musician, and with a didgeridoo player, and a drummer from Africa, they can! But each one has to do compromise. Each one has to change what he plays to find the common ground to play. With improv you can take 4 people from these 4 countries, with very different background, very different human background, and then they can work together, they can play from the first... I mean yesterday with Pauline, for instance, we never met, I mean of course, I know a little bit her music, she knows mine, but I could not know at all

MB: What's going to happen

MK: And we can meet, and we can talk in real time, we are having really a conversation

Rajesh Mehta < v
Cologne, Germany, 19th of November 2015, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

RM: It’s called the helicopter trumpet And then, build from that, the trumpet is later,

MB: what is that?

RM: its a Vogelpfeife, a bird whistle, so this is how I play with great drummers and repeat the rhythmic patterns between 2 sounds

MB: the moment of choosing the trumpet: What was that like? Why the trumpet?

RM: Obvious. There was never any doubt in my mind. I mean, if I was meant to play an instrument it was this. It was just the sound. It was something. I felt my sound... My imaginational sound, musical sound was in that instrument. I’ve had questions over… Let’s see, I started when I was 10, so 1974. And now I’m 52, so I’ve been playing for 42 years. There have been moments where I’ve thought, “Ok, well maybe the soprano saxophone, so if I would be doubling on that …” But I’ve never gotten closer to Indian music before I made this slide trumpet. So my challenge has been all these other sounds: natural sounds, and electronic sounds, and sounds and technology… and also traditional sounds… to find it on the instrument, and then to expand it.

MB: But why the trumpet? It’s loud, it’s difficult to play, it’s obnoxious…

RM: Right. And it’s beautiful and powerful and exciting and… I think I was also attracted to the role of the instrument. It’s very melodic - like if I heard Louis Armstrong. It’s song-like. I think one of the things I was attracted to was that it’s song-like and I had a lot of vocal music in my ears from my childhood. So Louis Armstrong was probably the first, and he was a singer and a trumpet player. And so I think it had to do with the vocal quality of that instrument. Even the South Indian temple music is vocal. It’s actually sung. These are songs. These are devotional songs which singers sing, you know. There’s text there. So I think it was the vocal aspect. No, I don’t think there is an archetypal trumpet player, but there are archetypes that work through the trumpet. Like being the “Urvater" or “Mutter”... whatever it is. But I think music can reach deep into the psyche to, you know, allow those archetypes and then it has… Why I love South Indian music is that is has been consistently connected to healing. Is is about the inner healing power. It’s about the power of sound to heal. So it’s the therapeutic or healing power of music. It’s actually used to scare evil spirits away. That’s why it’s so strong and penetrative. And there is something about music and healing and re-balancing forces in the world. So I think, you know, and that takes also penetrating force. And the trumpet has that. Trumpet has the ability to penetrate…

Bruce Dickey < v
Utrecht, The Netherlands, 22d of March 2017, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

Marco: you represent historical music on the stage to preserve the history or do you feel your contemporary performer? (56:28)

Bruce: Very definitely a contemporary performer, but not only. I would say it this way: the motivating factor for me is my fascination about the way they played in 1600. The thing I would most like to do is to go back for 10 minutes to St. Marcus and hear what they're doing. Not because I necessarily want to copy it, probably I would find it so strange, I think, that I wouldn't know how to process it, but I have been sort of obsessed all my whole career seeing this whole thing as a puzzle. What did this music sound like? What did the players think about it? How did they approach their instruments? And there are all kinds of little pieces of this puzzle we'll never be able to put the whole puzzle together, but pieces of the puzzle are things like historical instruments that survive in museums or music manuscripts in museums. Organs that are still in there or have been put back in their original condition and temperament from which we can learn a huge amount.

Marco: But for me these are technicalities where maybe the perception of those people of sound would have been completely different, because the environment smelled different, sounded different, they didn't have a train passing by.

Bruce: Oh, I'm sure it did, but all we can do is, I only mentioned a few of them, other ones are maybe more important, studying descriptions of the instrument, but even more than that the kinds of musical contexts in which the instrument played, because that tells you something about how loud it was played and how bright it had to have sounded. So, if you see it has to play with a violin, it has to play with a voice, it has to play with a historical Italian organ you get a picture of all these things together. But I mean, for me almost as important going into a church like St. Petronio in Bologna and going back in the organ and seeing signatures of cornetto players carved into the wood from 1560 and just touching that and going to a museum and holding the manuscript or the print of the Monteverdi Vespers in your hands and not just seeing it on a digitalized photo, but feeling the paper. All those things, I mean it's all very peripheral, but you get a feeling for the texture of what it was like. So I like to find how many of these little peep holes can we find into the past so that we can try to feel connected to those people, but there is no hope that we can sound like they sounded, so that can't be the goal anymore. I mean, I don't know. Dalla Casa was one of the most famous cornetto players. People say to me 'oooh, but I think you are the greatest cornetto player of all time'. I think that if I went back to 1600 and play for Dalla Case he would scratch his head and think 'what is this?' and I would probably think the same thing of him.

Bruce: ’will the lips vibrate?' They will vibrate if I'm not thinking about them vibrating. It has to be a response to an image of sound that I have in my head and then it will speak always. But if I start thinking about what my lips are doing then maybe not. And that is connected to finding the air pressure and air speed immediately from the beginning of the note and not letting your tongue block the air and then you got a burst of air and then the flow of air settles in later. It has to be just like a singer (sings a note). So what I find so wonderful about that program is the singer and me imitating each other and she does that work for me. She begins a phrase and I imitate it and I have that feeling of the sound already there and don't have to create it. The thing that you want to avoid is that feeling of the room being silent with on vibrations, I take a breath and I have to somehow break through that silence and create a sound. It has to be there either because someone else is playing or singing or because you have it in your head and then it happens. It's air! I used to have to tell myself more technical things like walking on stage I would say to myself 'just give relaxed slow air, then the sound will come' and you relax. (01:23)

Marco: It's like a discipline of thoughts!

Bruce: Ja, but it's much better if that can be connected to a musical idea and not just a physical, physiological idea

Marco: So there is also a difference in contributing to sound that is already happening and starting (05:57)

Bruce: Absolutely. And I have noticed in my career how much easier it is if you play a canzona and you're the second voice to enter. It's so easy to enter as a second voice, but if you're the one who has to break the silence it's much harder

Laura Vukobratovic < v

Essen, University of the Arts, 7th of November 2017, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

n... so for me that time in Yugoslavia, so I say Yugoslavia, at that time it was called that way, it was a kind of a whole world. That was, the possibility we had at that time, that was of course through music, or school, or all day just playing outside, except when we had to practice, that was always very... that always played great importance in our lives…

M you had to?

L Yes. We had a teacher who was very strict, I can say that.

M. From what age?

L. Well, I started to get really involved with trumpet when I was six. Actually, I could already buzz, and started to play the trumpet, that's when it was really so... yes... we had the system in Yugoslavia, that was of course better than here, through the State Music School, twice a week trumpet lessons, we always had solfège, ear training, we had chamber music and school orchestra. So these are all these things that we all did in parallel. From seven! And of course this whole school orchestra, that was great, so what for a weekend, Saturday Sunday, of course then sometimes you couldn't play with your friends, "school friends", because we always had school orchestra, but on the other hand that was great, because we traveled a lot, so for example I have incredible memories, to a point why I decided to continue music, yes, where you have to decide, at fourteen or fifteen, what you want. And that's what I was always so excited about, this being everywhere, and not just in one place, but everywhere else, and meeting a lot of people, and doing things with a lot of people. For three months NATO bombed us every day. For three months. Completely... As a normal person, you can't understand that at all. I still don't understand it. and of course we all played. So we couldn't go to the university to teach, because it was on the other side of the Danube, and there was no bridge anymore, or you thought, if there was still a small footbridge, you thought well, now another bomb will come and destroy that too, simply that a person couldn't go from one side to the other, so I taught at home. You are teaching at home, and suddenly there is a bomb alarm, and you say: what do I do now? You are teaching and the bombs are falling? It's like something one can' t imagine at all. But we really wanted to do this, as if it wasn't happening at all. It was best to ignore everything.

M.This is how your voice sounds now.

L. Yes! as if nothing had happened. And then when it was really completely over...those NATO bombs....

M. Didn't it drive you crazy?

L. Unbelievable! Angry! Incredibly angry. I was angry at the whole world. I couldn't understand it. I get incredibly emotional.

M. how can you channel that?

L. I did with it in such a way that I said: ok I'll pack my trumpet and go back to Germany, and will just continue my way.

L: I must say I have been incredibly lucky that I have never had any negative experiences here. I have only from many of my female colleagues, for example, …studying trumpet as a woman is out of the question. and I am so glad that I came to Reinhold (Friedrich), to a teacher who made no distinction between men and women. He supports, as much as it is possible, just to give us the feeling: It is possible, there is no reason that it is not possible. Of course, it was different when it was clear: ok I'm coming to Germany, and I want to stay here, after the war in Yugoslavia, then it was very clear when he said: now you are preparing for auditions. Then I looked at the landscape, and I said: Reinhold, where do you see a woman in a large orchestra? It may seem arrogant, but I said that if I go in the orchestra, I want to have a good job, and that is of course A orchestra, or radio orchestra, although I always preferred to play opera more above only symphonic works. Then he said very clearly: Then be the first!

M. And how was it then? Did you then realize: I am a woman, possibly the first solo trumpet in Germany. Did you notice that?

L. I did notice that, not in myself, but I realized that suddenly a lot of people were talking about it: there is a female solo trumpet player. It was funny that after that... when was it...? 2002, and now it's 2017, and there's still no (woman) in the big orchestra, and that's what I find sad.

L. I think if a woman plays really well, really well, that that's not negative, so .... But she just has to be so convincing that you don't have to start asking the questions about whether it would be safer to hire a man or a woman

M. She actually has more to prove than a man.

L. So she must have such a self-confidence, but not seem arrogant, because otherwise there is always this word Emanze, this word... this is quite unpleasant word in Germany "woman who consciously presents herself as emancipated and who actively promotes emancipation"; the word is here considered slang and often derogatory”

L: I have to say, we sound different, we have different kind of approach to the instrument, to playing technique. I can't say now what is better, but definitely it is different. And I can't say now, it's more beautiful when a woman plays, or it's more beautiful when man plays. There are so many personal things that go into it, like the idea of sound, or musical idea, warmth in sound, intensity in sound... but I can often hear very often when a woman plays, or a man. But I can't say why, How if it's a different kind of warmth in the sound... It's just something different. I can't describe yet... I'm trying to explain that for myself too.

M. Can you relate to a common human need to blow on a tube, to blow a horn, that there is also a general need that takes place around the earth. Can you relate to that?

L. I can totally relate to that because I find simply that every person wants to convey something. And that's an incredibly easy way to express the emotions and everything, without just putting yourself out there, and just shouting, or whatever.

M. So then the trumpet stands in between?

L. Yes! Instead of shouting, you can be more cultivated through the instrument. I find that for many people that... that's something that connects us all together.

Peter Evans < v
New York City, USA, 6th of July 2017, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

Marco: So what is the trumpet to you? When you put it on your lips and you play what is it you could it be any other instrument?

Peter: I don't know anymore, I mean I fiddle around with a piano sometimes. Actually playing with people who do live electronic processing has really changed my playing a lot and it's helped me, not even in a scientific way but just as a musician, to understand sound a little bit better. So that I can think of my instrument as something that is processing something else. Of course there are limits but the idea of a limitless interface…the fact trumpet is limited appeals to me actually.

Marco: And what would you miss most if you wouldn't have a trumpet anymore?

Peter: Well I think the issue’s not really the trumpet. I think the issue more is that for me, playing... being able to use music as an outlet. It enables me to access whole areas of living that I don't really have a way to do those in my daily life. If I did I might not even play music. When I read about spiritual teachers, I've​ been reading a bit about this guy Inayat Khan, the sufi musician - sufi writer - he eventually just stopped playing because he didn't even need it anymore. All the things he got from spiritual practice, music was just kind of a stepping stone, and he passed through music. That makes total sense to me. I mean, that's a different path. I'm not on a path necessarily. I'm more saying that the things that are possible in music for me unfortunately aren't possible in daily life. Music teaches me about daily life in a way but if they were unmasked then maybe we wouldn't even need crazy music.

Peter: I mean obviously it's me doing it, I'm playing but I'm also plugging into something that is kind of an annihilation or passing through or continuing on a certain ethos or a way of creating, that people before you have done. These are actually the most normal ideas in music. So it's interesting that they've been relegated, at least in the west or even in art music communities, it is still a strange kind or culty idea. when you hear someone talking about this stuff it's like “woah that's crazy.” No! It's super normal.The idea that when I am playing a solo show I'm trying to let something else do all the work and that something else is the thing that is driving. It’s not really driving me, it's recognizing that something exists that's not you and then learning how to channel that through your own little weird filter. I guess that's the best way I can really put it. And the more aware I am of whatever that force is, the stronger it gets. So the more I really believe in that, or know that it's something that is real, the easier it is for me to let go of other things

Peter: There is something spiritual about technical craft. I do think that to watch another human being you're watching somebody transcend what you think is even possible for a human being. Not just on an athletic level but it's connected to some deep kind of music making. For me that's the best. Coltrane is a great example of that, his really ferocious technique but put in a serv... it's not like anything he plays sounds dry or like an exercise but he has clearly practiced a lot of that type of material so that when he's in that whatever that state it it just goes ahead …one technique that I've found that allows yeah like a multilayered kind of space where there's you can even get if it's kind of all in the fuzz but you can even get the sounds of different parallel melodies at different points in the harmonic series working in unison kind of almost like a homophonic texture of like these different melodies happening on top of one another and then just focusing in on one of them if you want and then exiting that space and you back in more clear space I guess...

Marco: Cool. What's the other sound I couldn't figure out the amount of noise you can add to your sound. White noise so that you have a pitch...

Peter: Like air?

Marco: Yeah.

Peter: It's just messing with the aperture so that a lot air is kind of wasted I don't know how else to explain it. right now it's like locked. I'm actually dropping the bottom lip now and the aperture is opening more than it needs to.

Marco: Can you do it over the whole register?

Peter: No, well kind of. it takes a certain amount of control. yeah, it's possible … I guess if I had to analyze it it's the same concept which is just I'm just playing a synthesizer 'm moving all these different elements around to create a sonic space that's layered you know so I have options and so has options so you can choose different pathways to listen or somebody that' playing with me can lock on a certain information but not others you know...

Cuong Vu < v
Seattle, USA, 11th of July 2017, excerpts from an interview with Marco Blaauw.

Busy. Honking. Loud talking. Fast loud talking. Yeah. And then some music. Not a whole lot of music. At home, my father had a reel to reel tape recorder that we had music on a lot, because my mother also sang, so... Musical sounds were around when we were in the room and they put on their music.

I remember looking at the tapes all the time like, "Oh, the sound is coming out of there..." It's amazing. I got the impression that things were wrong when one night we were gathered and there was a lot of talking and I had to say goodbye to my dad for some reason. I didn't understand. And then the next morning it was still pretty dark, it seemed like we snuck out and went into a van and then drove for a pretty long ways. And we got to the army base. And we were shipped out.

I don't remember it being a culture shock. I remember feeling excited and that it was an adventure. It was really fun. And then, you know, coming from a place where your space is cramped and maybe old and maybe dirty, small, poor... to suddenly being in America where everything seemed new. Especially our neighbourhood that we moved in to, everything was new. A lot of nature, as you can see. Where we were was on the east side of the lake here.

We all lived in a big house that was nice and new. It seemed wealthy to me compared to what we had before.

... My dad was mainly a guitarist and he played drums, but then when we left, for some reason he took up saxophone and trumpet, but more so trumpet. But I had a picture of him playing saxophone, so as a kid I was like, "Oh, this is my dad. He plays saxophone." I was so excited.

So I wanted to be a saxophone player, but then when I asked my mom if I could play the horn, I didn't say saxophone or the trumpet, I said, "the horn," because it works for both saxophone and trumpet. I was thinking about the saxophone. There was also a picture of him playing the trumpet that I didn't really... I saw the saxophone one. So she went out and bought a trumpet. I opened it up like, "This was not what I wanted to play!"

MB: Oh no!

CV: But then, you know, I tried to play it and it was really hard, so it stayed in the closet for a good two or three years. And then my dad came over and said, "You're going to play trumpet." And at that age, the music education started in grade school, in fifth grade, so, you know, they asked the students, "What do you want to play?" And so I had a trumpet at home, my dad said, "You should play trumpet." So I played trumpet. But it wasn't my choice. I wanted to play drums or guitar or saxophone. And my dad said, "If you want to be a musician you have to play trumpet," because in Vietnam, trumpet players were the band leaders and you can make more money. So funny, so funny. from what I know, the trumpet is a battle cry or a warning of some sort. Like: pay attention, something is happening! I've never thought of it as a soothing instrument in terms of it's nature. And when people start to take on any kind of format, whether it's with a pencil, writing words or drawing, paint, sculpture, whatever it is... it's about taking that tool and conveying their ideas. So once you get into that territory then all of the human experience can come through that vehicle.

CV: And then I think about sound and yeah... It's a very... the kind of sound that makes you say, "Wow yeah, things are exciting!" But then there's this thing about the sound when I practice long tones and I start to hear certain things about the sound that make me go, "Woah, chill." , there are those aspects of the trumpet that, probably, some of those guys who play the big horn have this soft, fuzzy sound that could lull a baby to sleep. Or digeridoo... That's not alarming and it's coming out of the same buzz. In the same way that my limitations control what I play, the instrument influences how things will occur. But to me it seems that we are always trying to overcome our limitations anyway so we can get into vast territories about what it was supposed to be in the first place. Sometimes when I pick up the trumpet it's like, "Agh," and sometimes it's like, "Yeah, it's gonna happen. It's gonna be good." And when things are going really well, it feels like nothing is impossible. Like, “Things will be cool. Yeah, I can do this."

Jeremy Montagu < v
7th of November 2017, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

On Rosh Hashana, New Year, you’re calling the people of Israel back to God, to repentance, because they have ten days to think of all the things they’ve done wrong or all the things they should’ve done and haven’t done during the year before Yom Kippur – the day of atonement where we spend the day fasting and repenting for all our sins and so on. So, the shofar has a very important use in that respect, and the earliest reference that we have for the shofar, of course, is in Exodus at the giving of the Ten Commandments. And that shofar was blown from heaven. There’s an old tradition… That was the left horn of the ram that Abraham sacrificed instead of Isaac, and no part of that ram was wasted. The skins covered Elijah’s loins, the intestines were the strings of David’s harp, and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of crap of that sort. It’s great fun. And the right horn, which is longer, is still up there and will be heard in times to come. Which is in other words the last trump. It’s spiritual, much of this is. It is the voice of heaven. And you feel that when you’re blowing it.

A as a blower, I do feel that I am calling the congregation back to him or her. And if you don’t feel that – the Talmud is really firm that if you don’t blow with intent your calls are not valid and you’re wasting your time. And if when you’re hearing it, if you don’t hear it with intent, again, it’s not valid. Not of use. So this is important. But the thing is that if the people recognize the sound as the shofar they must have known the shofar already, and we got no other reference to it at all earlier than that. But it must have been simply a horn. I mean, it was used for battle… When you think of Gideon attacking the Moabites where he had an army of – what was it – 2 or 300 and they each had a shofar, each of them had a candle burning in a jar, and they blew the shofars and they broke the jars and the flame of light and the sound of the horns, all the Moabites just ran away. That story. I mean, it was a war trumpet. It was used, always been used as an alarm call in communities and so on when there’s an attack or anything like that and so on. So it’s a horn. And it’s used for all the purposes of a horn, but it also has this ritual context.

MB: So we don’t know which one came first: the war or the ritual?

JM: Oh, the war.

The ritual starts with the giving of the Ten Commandments after the Exodus. The ritual was, as it were, an added extra. And the fact that the shofar sounded, not by human agency but from heaven and all the rest of it… How was it? “The sound of the shofar waxed louder and louder. Moses spoke and got answered with a voice.” And what God said at that time was, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt,…” the first of the Ten Commandments. And so on. This is our myth, our legend. What happened from then on, we have really no idea because in the Bible there’s no reference to Rosh Hashana. The new year. It was the first day of the 7th month. It was a day of blowing. It was a day of remembrance of blowing. And so on. So, the shofar must always have been involved in whatever celebration there was of Rosh Hashana in the book of Numbers and Leviticus where these two quotes come from. I assume you want to hear this thing?

MB: Oh yes!

JM: Now there are the three calls that were laid down in the Talmud, about 600 – anytime between 3 and 600 the time was written down.

MB: Can you play them again and separate them?

JM: Yeah.

MB: The first one is called?

JM: Tekiah.

MB: Tekiah.

[plays] JM: Shevarim is a sort of wailing sound.

[plays] JM: And Teruah, which is – means an alarm – is a sort of quavering.

[plays] JM: And all calls begin and end with the Tekiah. Now, what the noises were that came out, we have no idea. What I blew you is what I was taught.

JM: the whole idea of a lowland alphorn where, after all, in the mountains you want alphorn because you’re up there with the sheep for weeks and so on - you want to chat with the chap on the next mountain so you blow horns to and fro or you blow down to the village and say “I’m running out of bread, bring me something” or whatever, you know…

MB: You think it had that function?

JM: Oh yes, the alphorn certainly had that function. And certainly very much… because you’re on your own, entertainment for yourself and also entertainment with the chap on the next berg. And the same thing with marshes…

MB: Right, because you can’t cross over that easily.

JM: Exactly. So that’s why you get the midwinterhoorn in the Twente. And it’s why you get the – I can’t think of the name now – the Ligawka in the Polish marshes. Again, because you’re isolated. You’re by yourself. The chap I bought my best midwinterhoorn from – because it’s a real traditional one – he said, “I blow. I get answers from over there.” And so on. “And we blew to each other.”

MB: Yeah. Telephone.

JM: Well, not just a telephone. But also, just gossip. Equivalent to gossip. Today you would use Skype.

MB: Right.

JM: But they used midwinterhoorn. It was also used during the war as a warning for the Gestapo coming. It was also used in the Catholic Protestant religious wartime, again to warn.

Djalu Gurruwiwi < v

Djalu Gurruwiwi Wallaby Beach, Nhulunbuy, Northern Territories, Australia. D = Djalu M = Marco L = Larry

D: …thank you for every one of you, each that is coming from other end of the word. Thank you for coming.

M: Since when did people start coming?

D: 2001, in 2002 I started touring around. I tell story what kind of instrument. The tree of instrument We have yidaki and then the tongue. That sound comes from here. Like singing. So someone can hear you clearly… One working. The lung turning. Went in, down. Like this. Breathe. Breathe out. Breath in. That’s how it works. Out from here like this. This side. At the same time like … this side. It’s moving. [sings and gestures with yidaki] See? Again in. In, out. In, out. When you go out, the power is coming up. The heart timing. Timing. When you walk, example. Exercise, a time – a beat. You can see. And I feel it. My stomach. I get more power. Really like this, like this [gesturing with hands at chest].

D: I’m not talking other then... This is the yidaki quality. Qualified. Quality inside.

M: That is inside the tube.

D: Yeah.

M: You feel the pressure inside.

D: I feel it. They help me.

L: He is the master.

M: That is why he grows an old strong man.

L: Still strong.

M: Yes.

D: Yeah. I am 89.

L: 89.

M: 89.

D: Yeah. They help me. Sometime…

M: So can a balanda learn about that energy?

D: Yeah.

M: Can people of other tribes learn about that energy?

L: Yeah.

D: That’s why I tel, follow law, man, welcome. Follow law. Come. Sit with a part of this tree. The sound is sacred. And I said sacred, because knowledge man educated part of them. Balanda come! Can’t say no more. I can’t help. But I am this color, and blood will be one.

M: Yeah, and blood will be one. Yes.

D: See? That’s white, that’s black. They come together.

M: Yes. Finally.

M: we can call humans around the planet with the trumpet – we can call out and people hear from a long distance. All over the planet there’s all kinds of shapes and forms of the trumpet, so I had a dream of connecting all the trumpets with one sound around the planet – very big distance. Strange, huh?

D: [speaks in Yolngu]

L: Old man, he saw that already. When you tell the story, he could see it straightaway. Yeah. He was smiling. M: Yes. But if you were to play, you were to start the sound around the planet, what would it sound like? What would you do?

D: That remind… with my dancing. I play yidaki. Old man – my father – I remember I have to listen. And singing… like my brother, my eldest brother…

L: He had a brother that can sing. But my father used to play digeridoo only, no singing.

M: No singing.

L: That’s why he… my grandfather, he listened to my grandfather and learned.

M: So that’s the sound that you would play.

L: That’s why he sings and play digeridoo.

M: Sing and play yidaki. (2:14)

D: I had other one – one and they walk around. I would play the land. I would play a [smacks clapsticks] walk around.

L: This is called a song line. Song line about the ancestors. In my country, I was walking this way to the other side. This is the song line of that. [Gestures beat] Dancing.

[playing and Djalu singing]

L: That’s the song line.

L: Song line, singing, the words, telling the story, the places…

Maite Hontelé < v

Den Haag, The Netherlands, 4th of July 2020, Excerpts from the interview with Marco Blaauw.

MH: the tone of the trumpet is an entire universe. That resonates in such a way, you can compare that to the voice, but… That was what the trumpet was for me. That was the great attraction of the trumpet - that you can say so much with one sound. And I think that is why I find this research very interesting because I really believe that it is a kind of primal feeling that you… Well, as a signal, but also as translating emotions, which it really has done for me. And what I think, perhaps, or hope what has become the essence of my trumpet playing is that tone and what is contained within it. That with the one middle G, with the interpretation of it, the vibration, the depth of the tone, all the connotations, the softness of it… but above all the intention, the energy, that all comes with it. That was also one of the things I told my students - I didn't teach a lot, but I did a number of workshops and a number of lessons - that that's actually music. Go make music with just one note. That’s possible. It can make people cry. And if you can do that, then you've actually made it.

MB: …how do you do it as a woman? How do I manifest myself as a woman on stage?

How can I be myself - a woman - and at the same time not be seen as a woman playing the trumpet but simply as someone who plays trumpet well? Would you have any sage advice for them?

MH: Yes, that you… Look, the goal has to be that you make good music together, so that's what you're working towards. That line is the same for everyone. Or this line, this line is the same for everyone. That is what it is all about. So that thought process, "I'm a woman,” you actually have to look beyond that because you are all producing musical notes which come out in the piece of music you're making together. And maybe to… And that's almost advice to myself - but don't dwell on that moment when you feel insecure or think, "I don't want to be seen as a woman.” You may need to let go of that and think about making music together because that's not about man/ woman, that's about playing those notes together in a beautiful way. That would be my first piece of advice. To look beyond that, to look at that horizon that you're creating together.

MB: A question is, of course, triggered for the first time as soon as they become aware that, “Oh, I'm not seen here as a trumpet player, but as a woman.”

MH: Yes, but by looking at it differently, you'll notice that you are seen less like that. Because, for example, I've always thought, "I work in music,” and not so much "I'm a woman in music.” I was always treated as a musician, not so much as a female musician. That's really about how you approach it.

Mino Ryu-ho < v

Shogoin temple, Kyoto, Japan, August 2021, Video commissioned by Marco Blaauw.

Many greetings to all the participants of the Global Breath Project. My name is MINO Ryu-ho. I'm a lay practitioner living in Japan. I have been doing my own research on conch shells, which we call Horagai, trumpets and horns for many years. I was baptized at Honzan Shogoin Temple and have been studying Buddhism for a long time.

The Horagai (shell trumpet) is the most important tool for Yamabushi (ascetic) training. It is written in the sutras that the Buddha played Horagai to gather all living things when he would begin to preach. In our temple’s training method, there are eight kinds of "Fu" for Horagai. "Fu" means unique musical notations in buddhism. What the FU represents is something like a radio jingle. This may be similar to the role of a military bugle. Every morning, after waking up, I change into special white clothes for Yamabushi and gather some implements for prayer. I play Horagai at exactly 7:00 a.m. After, I pray on the rooftop of my building which I imagine to be the top of a mountain. Sometimes, I train in the mountains for one week or more. Dear Marco Blaauw, two years ago we had a very wonderful experience with Christine Chapman. We discussed and played Horagai (shell trumpets), trumpets and horns. It was just one day, but we had a great and meaningful time. It was such an exciting experience for me because this research is my life's work. I will play the Horagai for your happiness. The piece's name is Shugo no Fu in Japanese. It means Assembly Song and it calls for everyone to come together. Thank you.

Gabriele Cassone

Taylor Ho-Bynum

Wadada Leo Smith

Peter Holmes

The interview with music archeologist and instrument maker Peter Holmes resulted in an exploration with reconstructions of ancient instruments that were part of the European Music Archeology Project. On May 28, 2018, Christine Chapman and Marco Blaauw were allowed to play and record most of the lip reed instruments of the exhibition "ARCHÆOMUSICA - The Sounds and Music of Ancient Europe." On the last day of the exhibit in the National Archaeological Museum of Brandenburg (Germany), Filmmakers Corinna Belz and Thomas Riedelsheimer shot footage of most of the instruments, taking advantage of the window of time between the closing of the museum and sunset to create a beautiful scenario in the neighboring church.

In 2021 many of these instruments came with Peter Holmes to the Global Trumpets Festival. After the festival, before returning these instruments to the museum, Marco Blaauw was able to create another recording situation with Janet Sinica. The results are published on YouTube and Vimeo.

Marco Blaauw plays the Tintignac Carnyx, France (200 BC – 200 CE) 1/2

Marco Blaauw plays the Tintignac Carnyx, France (200 BC – 200 CE) 2/2

Marco Blaauw plays Neolithic horn, from the cave Trois Chênes, Rouet, France (3000-2500BC)

Marco Blaauw plays Neolithic horn, from the Vallabrix Cave, France (2800-2000BC)

Marco Blaauw plays Clay horn from Civita Castellana, Italy (600 BC)

Marco Blaauw plays the Silver Trumpet of Tutankhamun, Egypt (1350 BC)

Marco Blaauw plays the Tintignac Carnyx, France @Archeomusica, Brandenburg

Christine Chapman and Marco Blaauw play Etruscan Cornu and Lituus

Christine Chapman and Marco Blaauw play horns from the early bronze age
RECORDED AT GAYŊURU STUDIOS, Nhulunbuy, Northern Territories, Australia The Global Breath research project studies major traditions, customs, and sounds of the trumpet and other lip reed instruments. One important example of a precursor of the trumpet is the yidaki, the instrument more commonly known as the didjeridoo. One of the most influential didgeridoo players in the Netherlands, Michiel Teijgeler, encouraged us to visit Djalu Gurruwiwi, a custodian of the yidaki and a well-known elder of Yolŋu clan in North East Arnhem land, Northern Territories in Australia. This area is also known for the world's oldest, uninterrupted oral traditions.

It seemed impossible to schedule a well-organized trip to that part of the world. We didn't know anybody there, and building contact from a distance was challenging. We decided to take an impromptu trip to the Northern Territories with very little idea of what we would find there, who we would meet, or whether we could speak to Djalu Gurruwiwi. Upon arrival, the BUKU-LARRŊGAY MULKA CENTRE was our first address to visit. We were warmly received and then directed to the GAYŊURU STUDIOS of local radio broadcaster ARDS. There we met Andrew Grimes, radio producer, and bassist of the local rock band Barra. He immediately helped us find the right contact person for the Gurruwuíwi family. That same evening, we were greeted by Djalu and his family. We had dinner together and made arrangements for the following days for an interview and some key lessons about the yidaki.

With Andrew Grimes, we also made a plan for the last day of our visit. We rented the recording studio, and he found musicians willing to spend an afternoon jamming: "Yidaki meets the double bell trumpet."

You will find links to the audio recordings from that afternoon on this page. The session went off without a plan, with hardly any verbal exchange. We sat together in a room and tried out all sorts of things: The brothers Larry and Vernon Gurruwiwi provided catchy grooves and thundering drones, with Sebastian Guyundula Z Burarrwaŋa and Adrian Gurruwiwi improvising with voice, always accompanied by clapsticks. On some tracks, recording engineer Andrew Grimes played bass guitar. At the end of the afternoon, Andrew Minyapa Gurruwiwi joined our session, played some keyboards, and told 2 stories!

The following video gives a good impression of the situation: a small studio in a local radio station, a casual atmosphere, and "freestyle" yidaki playing - ideal conditions for a good jam!

GAYŊURU STUDIOS April 29, 2018 Nhulunbuy, NE Arnhem land, Australia Engineer Andrew Grimes Final mix Alexandria Smith Musicians Larry Larrtjaŋga Gurruwiwi, Yidaki Vernon Marrițŋu Gurruwiwi, Yidaki Sebastian Guyundula Z Burarrwaŋa, Songman Adrian Guyundu Gurruwiwi, Songman Andrew Minyapa Gurruwiwi, Keyboard, spoken word Andrew Grimes, Bass Marco Blaauw Double bell trumpet, piccolo trumpet

an artistic research on the universality of the sound of the trumpet

Music occurs in all cultures. There are thousands of musical cultures. The familiar notion that music is a universal language is more of an ideologically charged Western idea than scientific proof of the existence of a universal musical language.

Studies have shown, however, that universal musical characteristics do exist. It is possible that universal traits in music are manifestations of universal traits in human behavior in general. This artistic research project will examine whether the trumpet sound is also such a universal trait.


Research < v

Global Breath: an artistic research on the universality of the sound of the trumpet.

The hypothesis of this research is that there exists the potential of sending a trumpet sound around the world that can be understood by anyone who hears it along the way.

During the research, an attempt is made to answer the question of whether the trumpet sound is a phenomenon that, in principle, appeals to all people. Can the trumpet sound be a unifying element for all people who hear it?

Music occurs in all cultures. There are thousands of musical cultures. The familiar notion that music is a universal language is more of an ideologically charged Western idea than scientific proof of the existence of a universal musical language. Studies have shown, however, that universal musical characteristics do exist. It is possible that universal traits in music are manifestations of universal traits in human behavior in general. This artistic research project will examine whether the trumpet sound is also such a universal trait.

The project began with trumpeter Marco Blaauw's dream of creating a trumpet sound that would travel continuously around the globe, connecting the world's many cultures. A global breath - an archaic sound of great symbolic value, representing a common fundamental link between all the peoples of this planet.

To put this dream on a solid footing, he initiated an international research project that provides a unique insight into the most important traditions, customs, and sounds of the trumpet and other lip-blown instruments.
→ Interviews

Subsequent steps include planning for interviews and research trips to Africa and South America and further processing of video and audio material for the Global Breath archive and future publications. Part of the archive you can find on the following website and YouTube channels:

Many results of this research are already being used to create new projects with a wide variety of creators, musicians, and audiences. The first clear example of this was the Global Trumpets Festival in September 2021, when many of the first interviewees were invited to Folkwang University in Essen for a gathering of workshops, master classes, lectures, concerts, and invaluable informal exchange.
→ Global Trumpets Festival

The Composers Project is the next initiative to emerge from the Global Breath research. New knowledge, sounds, and ideas from the intriguing Global Breath archive will be utilized in dialogue with a group of 7 composers. This exchange between composer and performer can be deepened so that a unique sound language can emerge, contributing to the concept of a trumpet sound that travels around the earth.
→ Composer Project

While working on these projects, new recordings are being collected, adding new concepts in developing the Global Breath. Two of these new projects are a radio play and a sound installation. The radio play frames existing and new recordings of trumpet sounds, bringing these voices together in one place. The sound installation consists of several loops of ongoing diverse and complex trumpet sounds from all over the world that will be projected in different spaces.
→ Recordings

Interviews < v

The Global Breath research started with a series of interviews with trumpeters worldwide who have achieved iconic prominence on the instrument and can be considered pioneers. In addition, prominent local instrumentalists, a music archaeologist, and a music ethnologist were interviewed as well.

The interviews followed a semi-structured set of questions that included sound perception; the players' social, geographic, and political environment; documentation of their personal histories; and specific playing techniques and genres.

Beginning in November 2015, the 19 interviews were recorded in Scotland, Germany, Italy, England, Serbia, the United States, Australia, Japan, and The Netherlands. On this page (following the purple links), you will find excerpts of these interviews. You can watch videos and read the transcription by clicking the drop down arrow below the video.

First, you find the answers from 6 interviews to two of the questions:

→ What is your earliest memory?
→ What would it sound like if you sent a sound around the world?

These impressions are followed by short portraits of the pioneers,
again as video and a Pdf file.

→ Portraits

Before the Research < v

Marco Blaauw on the beginnings of the Global Breath Project:

“After long periods without a trumpet, I always begin to miss something essential to my very being: Sound - the physical sensation of the vibration of sound. For many years I practiced, often without music, only isolated tones. Exercises whose goal was to produce as much sound as possible. These sounds contributed to my physical and spiritual formation and are a part of me. I was able to experience firsthand the potential of sound and what it can do for our bodies and souls. This sensation is what brings me back to my instrument again and again.

In the year 2014, I experienced a long period of more than half a year without the trumpet. During the rest of that year, I hardly played at all. I was clearly missing something and started noticing it physically, mentally, and in my soul. When I started playing again and returned to my old routines, it was as if my whole being was replenished. That period was an intense life experience that made me stand still to reflect. Eventually, I decided to begin a research project to discover whether this was a personal, individual experience or a universal one that I share with other trumpeters.

This intention was fuelled by my fascination with the fact that so many cultures around the world, over thousands of years, cultivated lip reed instruments without any exchange about it. How could that be? Was there something universal in the perception of the sound?

In 1963, amidst the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy reached out to Nikita Khrushchev in the Soviet Union during his peace speech at American University, Washington, D.C., in which he said: “…our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air.” 1

This sentence sounds so simple but is, in fact, so telling. If we all breathe the same air, it is not surprising that we become fascinated when that breath transforms into sound through vibrating vocal cords and/or vibrating lips!

Therefore, is the sound of a lip-blown instrument appealing to people in many different cultures worldwide? Is the perception of this sound part of our DNA, something we all have in common? And to what extent are we still doing today what those distant ancestors were doing long ago? And how does that manifest itself in the music we play today?

Enough questions to start a research project, but I am not a scientist or an academic. My daily work is playing my instrument. While thinking about these themes as a trumpeter, the idea arose of a trumpet tone sounding around the earth. Would everyone who hears it recognize the sound?

The idea of a sound that moves continuously, a global breathing - an archaic tone connecting many cultures, still has great symbolic value for me today.

How to start such a sound? With whom could I talk about it?

That year I called some colleagues but soon found that it took me far too long to explain the concept. Most of the time, these conversations quickly turned into something other than what I intended to speak about. Besides that, the topic felt rather intimate. A conversation where such questions and experiences are to be discussed takes time and concentration.

I had to find an appropriate form and some interesting discussion partners. Since this was a personal research project to discover and learn, I wanted to be the questioner. Therefore, the best method would be interviewing. My idea was to speak with trumpeters who, driven by passion and obsession, had specialized so intensely in a genre or their own style that they could be considered pioneers!

To create the list of pioneers, I developed criteria. 12 seemed a good number to start with, then those whose locations could form a path for the trumpet sound around the world. Most importantly, the different places and cultures involved would give a very diverse view of the trumpet. In addition, all the trumpeters would have specialized in various fields and represented different generations.

The next steps were planning the trips and creating a questionnaire. The questions included the participants' sound perception; their social, geographic, and political environment; documentation of their personal histories; and specific playing techniques and genres. The questionnaire went from "What is your earliest memory?" to the final question, which was very specific about the project: "If you wanted to send a trumpet sound around the world, what would it sound like?"

During the interviews, new questions arose, and many new themes emerged. Also, the list of pioneers changed. I met Peter Holmes, a prominent music archeologist and instrument builder, at the International Historic Brass Symposium in New York City in the summer of 2017, where I realized that the historical perspective should be included. I then visited Jeremy Montagu, an ethnologist, author, instrument collector, and shofar player with over 60 years of experience. It was possible to play on his incredible collection of lip reed instruments from all over the world and learn from his lifelong study of these instruments and their ethnological backgrounds.

It became challenging to focus on the original intent as the number of themes grew, such as:

- The historical development of the trumpet

- Trumpet construction, how was it done and why, how is it done now

- Old uses of the trumpet, or predecessors of the trumpet, the so-called lip reed instruments, which can still be found. The most famous example is probably the Shofar!

- Gender and brass playing: Why is the trumpet often seen as a masculine instrument? Why are there still relatively few women playing professionally and what is their position in the musical world?

At this point, although I have collected many answers, even more questions have arisen. I hope to write more about these in the future. Above all, it has become clear that I am far from finished with this research! In the meantime, however, I have begun to turn the many materials into future projects.”

→ Projects


Global Trumpets Festival < v
Twelve cubic meters of air are moved by humans every day while breathing. In about 20 000 breaths. How would it be to send this amount of air around the world? And not silently, as we know it from breathing, but as a sound?

Could this sound be translated into the many different languages of the world, and could it be used to spread a musical and social message?

In 2017 Marco Blaauw approached trumpet pioneer and professor Laura Vukobratović with these questions for an interview as part of the Global Breath research.

The encounter sparked the initiative to organize an international trumpet festival in cooperation with the Folkwang University of the Arts. This event would enable all the participants of the Global Breath research to meet for an exchange and showcase their work.

In the following years, an outstanding festival program was created. Under their direction and working together with a wonderful team - Eva Maria Müller, Aram Khlief, Elsa Scheidig, and Denis Zisko - they presented a 6-day festival with 13 concerts, 10 lectures, 4 masterclasses, and 3 workshops.From September 25 to 30, 2021, there were more than 50 artists on the stages of the Folkwang University in Essen.

The challenges of the pandemic opened up new perspectives. Created especially for the festival, the team built a virtual copy of the Folkwang Campus on the online platform Gathertown. This enabled visitors worldwide to log in and attend the program, visit the Global Breath exhibition and enter into a dialogue with other visitors.

Over six festival days, musicians, students, teachers, and scholars from various continents came together digitally and on-site to make the trumpet and other lip-reed instruments resound.

At the same time, the Global Trumpets Festival shed light on many exciting aspects of the trumpet: from different playing styles to the underrepresentation of women and diversity in the professional scene.

Guests included luminaries of the international trumpet scene such as Bruce Dickey, Peter Evans, Mireia Farrés, Reinhold Friedrich, Peter/Pippa Holmes, Maite Hontelé, Mazen Kerbaj, Rajesh Mehta, Carole Dawn Reinhart, Wadada Leo Smith, Taylor Ho Bynum, and John Wallace. The public witnessed the trumpet and its related lip-reed instruments in their entire spectrum – from jazz to classical to early and new music to genre-bending styles.

Today the program is still available on the Gathertown campus! There you will find an archive where you can replay the entire program and stroll around to visit all the rooms and spaces - including the Global breath exhibition, with an excellent chance to meet other visitors to exchange with! Please follow this link: Click me!

An overview of the program < v

25 September 2021 < v

25 September 2021
Opening Concert

Trumpets: Mireia Farres Bosch , Reinhold Friedrich, Laura Vukobratović Norwegian Lurs - Marco Blaauw und Christine Chapman Folkwang Kammerorchester Conductor - Johannes Klumpp
Works by G.Ph.Telemann, J. Samuel Endler, Vivaldi, J.S. Bach And a world premiere of Rolf Wallin, - Prillar, for 2 Lurs and String orchestra
26 September 2021 < v
26 September 2021
Masterclass Mireia Farrés
Masterclass Reinhold Friedrich
Round table discussion “the polyphony of gender”
on the position of women in the music scene. Guests: Mireia Farrés, Laura Vukobratovic, Reinhold Friedrich, Marco Frei, Moderated by Leonie Reineke

Concert “breathtaking:  a cornetto and a voice entwined”
Hana Blažíková, Soprano Bruce Dickey, Cornetto Kris Verhelst, cembalo Rainer Zipperling, Gamba
Works by Nicolò Corradini (? – 1646), Sigismondo D’India (c1582 – 1629), Ascanio Trombetti (1544 – 1590), Ivan Moody (1964 —), Tarquinio Merula (c 1594 – 1665), Calliope Tsoupaki (1963 - ) and Alessandro Scarlatti (1660 – 1725)

Concert Mazen Kerbaj
Mazen Kerbaj, Solo performance. It is in this bare-bones setup that he can experiment the most with his trumpet, pushing it beyond any recognition.

Concert “Black fractions” (Mehta, 2021) Rajesh Mehta’s Sky Cage Quartet
Rajesh Mehta (slide and hybrid trumpets) Georges-Emmanuel Schneider (violin and electronics) Keith O'Brien (guitar and electronics) Chad Popple (drums, tablas)

27 September 2021 < v
27 September 2021
Wim Hof Method Fundamentals, Roman Rindberger
Trumpet WARM UP Marco Blaauw
Masterclass, Reinhold Friedrich

Workshop Bruce Dickey
Bruce Dickey spoke about so-called historical articulations and their relationship to vocality. The workshop evaluated their applicability to modern trumpet when playing music of the 17th and 18th centuries. Participants worked on series of exercises by Antonio Brunelli practicing unequal tonguing and the improvised ornamentation of cadences.

Concert “Baroque Men / Modern Women”
Old and New works for solo trumpet and trumpet ensemble Performed by the Trumpet studio of the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen Works by H.I.F. Biber ( 1644-1704), Olga Neuwirth (1968 - ), Anonymous (1670), Lisa Lim (1966 - ), J.H. Schmelzer (1623-1680), Isabel Mundry ( 1963) and F. Donninger ( 1716-1781)

Concert Peter Evans solo
Peter Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation. His work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions.
28 September 2021 < v
28 September 2021
Trumpet WARM UP Laura Vukobratović / Masterclass Laura Vukobratović
On the Use of Everyday Objects, Self-invented Techniques and the Human Body to Create a Genuinely New Language for An Otherwise Dated Instrument

Lecture Peter Holmes
Peter Holmes designed this talk to get people to think back into the distant past and to get a taste for the way that the brass instruments, used in ancient times reflected the cultures which employed them. 45 minutes was devoted to Palaeolithic up to the end of the Bronze Age, looking at the gender relationships in society which are highlighted through brass instruments. Also this talk took us briefly to the earliest recorded instrument from Geissenkloesterle, which is generally interpreted as a flute, to demonstrate that it functions perfectly well as a brass instrument. The final 10 minutes concentrated on the entry of brass instruments into the world of art music. Also someone from the audience had a chance to blow a 'Baroque' Roman tuba and the keyed tuba!

Lecture Bruce Dickey “That lascivious cornetto” in search of a lost tradition

Concert Wadada Leo Smith and Taylor Ho-Bynum
This concert presented the premier screening of a performance by Wadada Leo Smith and Taylor Ho-Bynum, especially recorded for the Global Trumpets Festival at the Lighthouse 12, New Haven (US).

Concert The Monochrome Project
Anthony Braxton, composition No 103, a seldom performed masterpiece for 7 trumpets, combined with excerpts from composition No 173, featuring our special guest for tonight: Lisa Charlotte Friederich In composition 103 Braxton recognizes and demands the full potential of the trumpet and reveales the core qualities of his genius: he combines a strong focus on specific instrumentation with his creative imagination, which is global and trans-idiomatic. The trumpeters are encouraged to show their classical virtuosity while at the same time being challenged to go beyond their usual boundaries, to leave the "comfort zone" and, among other things, to take the exciting risk of failure in the mandated improvisations. Trumpets: Marco Blaauw, Christine Chapman, Christopher Collings, Matthew Conley, Rike Huy, Bob Koertshuis, Peter Evans Speaker, performer: Lisa Charlotte Friederich
29 September 2021 < v

29 September 2021
Trumpet WARM UP with the Wallace Collection
Masterclass, Laura Vukobratović
Workshop The Wallace Collection
Entering the 19th century repertoire: thanks to the efforts of the Wallace Collection and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, we can work with original instruments.

Workshop Peter Evans
This workshop looked at a cross-section of issues concerning creative music. Both the artist’s journey from conception to composition and instrumental practice of developing of a “voice” were mixed with historical examples, hands-on application of concepts in music, and anecdotal tangents.

Lecture Maite Hontelé
Maite Hontelé’s topics will be a combination of her history, her success, her burnout, and her experiences in music as a woman. She will speak for about 30 minutes and after that give lots of space for questions and answers!

Concert “I can’t breathe” (2014)
A composition by the composer Georg Friedrich Haas and a choreography by Edivaldo Ernesto dance: Edivaldo Ernesto, double bell trumpet: Marco Blaauw

Lecture George Lewis, “I can’t breathe - a virtual dialogue”
a live stream from New York City Haas’s work, written just after the birth of the Black Lives Matter organization, and well before the concept of Black Lives Matter came to international prominence, raises a number of important questions about the response of the international new music community to the increasingly multicultural and multiracial. i.e., creolized, societies in which its performances, curatorial directions, and critical and philosophical inquiries are being presented. This lecture follows up on some of these issues.

In conversation, George Lewis and Wadada Leo Smith Round table:
Reflection on “I can’t breathe”

with guests that are among us in Essen: Edivaldo Ernesto, Rajesh Mehta and moderator Leonie Reineke

Concert The Wallace Collection , "The Chromatic Crucible”
John Wallace, trumpet John Miller, trumpet Bede Williams, trumpet Fergus Kerr, Horn Paul Stone, Posaune/Euphonium  Chris Houlding Posaune  Anthony George, Tuba   This program explores the first flowering of new compositions written around 1850 for the new chromatic brass championed in Paris by Adolphe Sax and other makers. Berlioz championed Sax and encouraged Wagner to visit Sax’s workshops in the company of Liszt. They heard brass play hitherto inconceivable repertoire such as this. Music such as this changed the idiom of brass for ever. Works by Auguste Mimart (1828-68), Jean-François Bellon (1795-1869) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Movie night “Westwind - Djalu’s Legacy”

is an enlightening and powerful film which profiles internationally revered musician, craftsman and spiritual leader Djalu Gurruwiwi. As an important custodian of aboriginal culture, Djalu and his community must find a new voice and leader to carry their songlines and traditions through future generations. The film follows Djalu and his son on an important journey which features musician Gotye and artist Ghostpatrol to keep this culture alive. Duration: 87mins Released: 2018 Country: Australia
30 September 2021 < v

30 September 2021
Trumpet WARM UP Ryan Carniaux

Lecture Arnold Myers
This lecture describes the explosive creation of new brass instruments in the first half of the nineteenth century and discusses ways of understanding their important features, especially with a view to re-constructing their sound world in 'period instrument' performance. The instruments of the Cyfarthfa Band are taken as an example. The conventional division of brasswind into 'conical' and 'cylindrical' is replaced by a more nuanced technique based on measurements. This technique is used to address the question: did Sax invent the saxhorn? 
Myers is curator of the instrument collection at the Royal Conservatoir of Scotland, and will give us an insight into the rich world of the 19th-century brasswind - the different families, like Wieprecht and Sax, Distins, Tsar Alexander III, and what made them different

Lecture John Wallace, “The Phenomenon of Prejudice “
John speaks about three case studies: John Blanke 1511, Jean-François Bellon 1848 and Edna White 1904, to illustrate how inexplicable it is.

In conversation, Laura Vukobratović and Carole Dawn Reinhart
Carole Reinhard accepted our invitation to visit our festival and speak to Laura. A very special and precious occasion. Carole Reinhard will speak about her long carreer as one the first female trumpet soloists.

Concert “The Chromatic Crucible”
Results from a workshop with The Wallace Collection. The repertoire shows the phenomenon of multiple independent discoveries as the new chromatic brass instruments of the nineteenth century suddenly flourished all over Europe – from Paris to Wales to Weimar – to everywhere. Works by Joseph Parry (1841-1903), Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), Auguste Mimart (1828-68), Ernst Sachse (c.1813-1870), Charlotte Sainton-Dolby (1821-1885)

Concert „ORIENTATIONS“, Damir Bačikin & Ensemble
Damir Bacikin –  Trompete, KompositionAlistar Duncan – PosauneKalle Zeier – E-GitarreValentin Link –  Kontrabass, SynthesizerHogir Göregen – Percussion

The Global Trumpets Festival was an event of the Folkwang University of the Arts in cooperation with Global Trumpets UG, supported by the RAG Foundation, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the Kunststiftung NRW, and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Composers Project < v

Throughout his career, an essential focus for Marco Blaauw has been the further development of the trumpet, its playing technique, and the initiation of new repertoire. Blaauw has collaborated in direct contact with some of the most celebrated composers of our time. The most fruitful work has come about through long-term and personal exchanges with the composers, opening new doors for both the performer and the composer, creating a unique musical language. The essence of this project is the dialogue between composer and musician, amplified by the fulcrum point of the trumpet, providing a focal point between the player and the composer. This project, a branch of the original Global Breath research project, looks to multiply this exchange seven-fold.

The trumpet is associated with today's popular music; pop, jazz, and classic. But one can also look through this archaic tube into the past and discover its history and the different cultures that have used lip-blown instruments since time immemorial. According to an article in the magazine Science Advances an 18,000-year-old conch shell found in a French cave was a musical instrument,1 lip-blown like the trumpet and still able to play haunting music that resonates in our imaginations. The ancient sound of the conch shell speaks to our shared human experience.

Is the sound of the trumpet part of a language all humans have in common?

The Composers Project focusses on this question and is a continuation of the Global Breath research.

Seven composers were selected for the depth of their work and to represent a global community of artists. From 2023 they are prepared to commit for 5 years to compose a total of 14 new pieces involving the trumpet. Their work will enrich the repertoire and promote a culturally diverse view of the trumpet and its role in our shared human heritage. This project wants to support equity and diversity in contemporary composition and the trumpet world, publish a collection of 7 of the works for bachelor's trumpet students, and develop new performing formats to open the world of the trumpet to a broader audience.

In 2024, the first seven pieces will be premiered at different festivals and venues in Europe. The first exchange between the composers will take place during a symposium at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele. A catalog of questions will kick off the week-long symposium of exchange - a unique opportunity for the composers and Blaauw to reflect on the premier performances and share knowledge and experiences.

The symposium also initiates the project's next phase by discussing and defining the major themes for the larger projects to come. The symposium sets the groundwork for a continuing dialogue between all the composers and Blaauw over the next three years.

The composers project will enable the trumpet to speak in seven newly created languages based on their unique experiences, background, and recent exchange. The individual production's framework is open, with the composers having the freedom to design a format suiting their vision. Outside of the traditional concerto or opera, one could imagine a theater project, a film, or an online virtual art project.

Ayana Witter-Johnson < v
Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, pianist and cellist. She has a phenomenal mastery for seamlessly crossing the boundaries of classical, jazz, reggae, soul and R&B, to imprint her unique musical signature with her virtuosic tap, strum and bow with her cello into her sound and vibe.

“As a second-generation Jamaican born in Britain, my music is a body of work that represents, celebrates and pays homage to my ancestral heritage, culture and identity,” explains Ayanna. As a composer, Ayanna has been commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Güerzenich Orchester, Ligeti Quartet, Kronos Quartet and The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company to name but a few.

Ayanna has released three EPs (‘Truthfully’, ‘Black Panther’ & ‘Ella, Reuben & Ay’) and put out her debut album ‘Road Runner’ in 2019, with its two subsequent singles’ Nothing Less’ and ‘Crossroads’, via her own independent record label (Hill and Gully Records). Venturing into new territories, Ayanna has been cast in a cameo role in the new Amazon Prime series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Anansi Boys’, alongside greats such as Whoopi Goldberg, which airs in 2023. Ayanna Witter-Johnson is the very definition of eclectic soul. → Offical Website

George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, where he serves as Area Chair in Composition and Faculty in Historical Musicology. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a Doris Duke Artist Award (2019), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis's work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 150 recordings. Lewis’s music is published by Edition Peters.
→ Bio at Columbia University Website

Isabel Mundry's work is characterized by a unique sonic language that investigates the relationships between time, space, and perception in rich, multi-faceted ways. In doing so, she creates new pathways and different realities in her compositions, which are explored through the timbre, harmony, and rhythms of her nuanced music.

Born in Hessen in 1963 and raised in Berlin, Isabel Mundry honed her composition skills under Frank Michael Beyer, Gösta Neuwirth, and Hans Zender, among others. This training was complemented by studies in musicology, art history, and philosophy, as well as a course in computer science and composition at the Paris IRCAM.

Isabel Mundry's numerous awards and honours include the Kranichstein Music Prize in 1996, a 2001 Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation sponsorship award, and the 2011 Heidelberg Artists' Prize. In 2007/08 she was the Staatskapelle Dresden’s first Capell-Compositeur, composer-in-residence. Isabel Mundry is a member of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin and Munich as well as the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz.

She has been a professor of composition at the Zurich University of the Arts since 2004 and, since 2011, a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.
→ Bio at

Liza Lim (b. 1966, Australia) is a composer, educator and researcher whose music focusses on collaborative and transcultural practices. Beauty, rage & noise, ecological connection, and female spiritual lineages are at the heart of recent works. Her large-scale cycle Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus (2018) has found especially wide resonance internationally and highlights ecological listening to beyond-the-human realms. Widely commissioned by some of the world’s pre-eminent orchestras and ensembles, Lim is Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2021-22. Her music is published by Ricordi Berlin. → Offical Website

Dai Fujikura < v
Born in 1977 in Osaka Japan, Dai was fifteen when he moved to UK. The recipient of many composition prizes, he has received numerous international co-commissions from the Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, Bamberg Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and more. In 2017, Dai received the Silver Lion Award from the Venice Biennale. In the same year, he was named the Artistic Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater’s Born Creative Festival.

His works are recorded by and released mainly on his own label Minabel Records in collaboration with SONY Music and his compositions are published by Ricordi Berlin.
→ Offical Website

Milica Djordjevic < v
Milica Djordjević (1984, Belgrade, Serbia) studied composition, Sound and Music Recording and electronic music. 

She has been awarded numerous prizes and scholarships such as the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize of the Berliner Philharmoniker 2020 and  Ernst von Siemens Composers' Prize 2016, and works the most prominent ensembles and orchestras specialised in contemporary music.

Her first monographic CD was published by WERGO and received the Prize of the German record critics. Djordjević's music has been performed and broadcasted in Europe, USA and Asia. Lives and works in Cologne. → Offical Website

Raven Chacon < v
Raven Chacon is a composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation.

In 2022, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Voiceless Mass. His 2020 Manifest Destiny opera Sweet Land, co-composed with Du Yun, received critical acclaim from The LA Times, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, and was named 2021 Opera of the Year by the Music Critics Association of North America. A recording artist over the span of 22 years, Chacon has appeared on more than eighty releases on various national and international labels.His solo artworks are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and National Museum of the American Indian, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, a various private collections.
→ Offical Website

Recordings < v

Improvisations on replicas of ancient horns. All instruments were part of The European Music Archaeology Project. A huge thank you to music archaeologist Peter Holmes, who provided so much knowledge and enabled access to these instruments.
→ Videos   → Vimeo playlist

The Global Breath research project studies major traditions, customs, and sounds of the trumpet and other lip reed instruments. One important example of a precursor of the trumpet is the yidaki, the instrument more commonly known as the didjeridoo. One of the most influential didgeridoo players in the Netherlands, Michiel Teijgeler, encouraged us to visit Djalu Gurruwiwi, a custodian of the yidaki and a well-known elder of Yolŋu clan in North East Arnhem land, Northern Territories in Australia. This area is also known for the world's oldest, uninterrupted oral traditions.

It seemed impossible to schedule a well-organized trip to that part of the world. We didn't know anybody there, and building contact from a distance was challenging. We decided to take an impromptu trip to the Northern Territories with very little idea of what we would find there, who we would meet, or whether we could speak to Djalu Gurruwiwi. Upon arrival, the BUKU-LARRŊGAY MULKA CENTRE was our first address to visit. We were warmly received and then directed to the GAYŊURU STUDIOS of local radio broadcaster ARDS. There we met Andrew Grimes, radio producer, and bassist of the local rock band Barra. He immediately helped us find the right contact person for the Gurruwuíwi family. That same evening, we were greeted by Djalu and his family. We had dinner together and made arrangements for the following days for an interview and some key lessons about the yidaki.

With Andrew Grimes, we also made a plan for the last day of our visit. We rented the recording studio, and he found musicians willing to spend an afternoon jamming: "Yidaki meets the double bell trumpet."

You will find links to the audio recordings from that afternoon on this page. The session went off without a plan, with hardly any verbal exchange. We sat together in a room and tried out all sorts of things: The brothers Larry and Vernon Gurruwiwi provided catchy grooves and thundering drones, with Sebastian Guyundula Z Burarrwaŋa and Adrian Gurruwiwi improvising with voice, always accompanied by clapsticks. On some tracks, recording engineer Andrew Grimes played bass guitar. At the end of the afternoon, Andrew Minyapa Gurruwiwi joined our session, played some keyboards, and told 2 stories!

The following video gives a good impression of the situation: a small studio in a local radio station, a casual atmosphere, and "freestyle" yidaki playing - ideal conditions for a good jam!

Global Breath Radioplay < v

The latest project is a collage of trumpet sounds from the still-growing Global breath archive and new recordings. The collage will result in 2 compositions. First is the radio play, an attempt to catch as many trumpet sounds as possible in a 54-minute time frame to give the listener an impression of the extraordinary diversity of trumpet sounds currently being played worldwide. The second composition is a sound installation, with the visitor invited to walk through different spaces, where impressions will sound from various regions of the planet, compiling into an imagined continuous trumpet sound around the world.


John Wallace Interview, Scotland, November 2015
 <  v

Rajesh Mehta, September 2016
 <  v

Historic Brass Conference, NYC, 2017  <  v

Guca, Serbia, August 2017  <  v

Mazen Kerbaj, September 2017  <  v

Visiting Peter Holmes, September 2017  <  v

Australia, April 2018  <  v

Gaynuru Studios, April 29th 2018  <  v

Archeomusica, Brandenburg an der Havel, May 2018  <  v

Before the Research video making-of  <  v

Mino Ryu-ho  <  v


The idea for the research project Global Breath emerged from conversations between trumpeter Marco Blaauw and dramaturg Beate Schüler. In November 2015 the first interview took place in Glasgow with John Wallace.

In 2016 Marco Blaauw designed the series of interviews and continued to work with Eva Maria Müller as project manager and Christoph Berger for technical support. In that year the team founded the Global Breath Foundation.

In 2018 filmmakers Corinna Belz and Thomas Riedelsheimer followed Blaauw on some of his travels and produced a trailer.

In 2019 the team was enforced with Laura Vukobratović to organise the Global Trumpets Festival. In 2021 the festival could finally take place. For the realisation of the festival the team was enlarged by Aram Khlief, Denis Zisko & Else Scheidig.

In 2021 and 2022 Erwin Roebroeks supported the project as dramaturg and project developer. In 2023 and 2024 the team will collaborate with the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele for the realisation of the Composers Project.

We want to thank the trumpet pioneers for there generosity, for spending time with us and for sharing their knowledge and music! John Wallace, Mazen Kerbaj, Rajesh Mehta, Bruce Dickey, Laura Vukobratović, Gabriele Cassone, Kristian Azirović, Peter Evans, Taylor Ho-Bynum, Wadada Leo Smith, Cuong Vu, Peter Holmes, Jeremey Montagu, Tristram Williams, Scott Tinkler, Djalu Gurruwiwi, Mino Ryo How, Yamabushi (Shugendo monk, lives in Osaka), and Maite Hontelé,

This project was made possible by the generous financial support of:

Kunststiftung NRW (Research, Global Trumpets Festival, Global Breath Composers Project)

Stichting Gavingnies (Research)

(Global Breath Composers Project
& Audio and Video Productions

Ministry of culture and science North Rhein Westfalia (NRW), (Global Trumpets Festival)

Ernst von Siemens Stiftung
(Global Trumpets Festival, Global Breath Composers Project)

RAG (Global Trumpets Festival)