Trumpeter Gareth Flowers seems to perceive no bounds to his creativity. With years of intense study under his belt, stints with orchestras from here to Seoul, and a deep interest in electroacoustic music, Gareth is at home with just about any artist or project in need of his skills. If you’re in NYC, see Gareth present his Acousmatic project at The Tank on November 17 (keep reading for more info).
How did improvisation become part of your musical experience?
I became really aware of improvisation for the first time when I moved to New York in 2000 and began listening to pretty mainstream jazz such as the Mingus Big Band, or Dave Douglas‘ many ensembles. But I guess improvisation wasn’t really part of my own musical experience until I became aware of my peers such as Nate Wooley and Peter Evans. Hearing the way that Nate and Peter approached improvsation really opened doors in my mind.
What composers/musicians most influence your work?
From a strictly musical perspective: Ligeti, Kurtag and Webern. From a sonic perspective: Flying Lotus for his sampling artistry and deft production work, and Noisia for their detailed, overloud productions.
What current projects/ensembles are you involved in?
I released a solo recording called Acousmatic in June. I really enjoy playing solo (though I rarely have the opportunity). For this project, I layer and resample myself until it sounds really dense and confusing. I also co-lead a production/live duo called Batteries Duo with Josh Frank, a fellow trumpeter and producer of quirky music. Frank and I recently completed a remix of some chamber music by Lisa Bielewa, completely re-contextualizing her work. I also play regularly with, and am a member of, the International Contemporary Ensemble.
What recent releases or upcoming events do you have on the horizon?
I am playing a solo Acousmatic set at The Tank on November 17. But first, on November 13, I am playing Copland’s Quiet City at Copland House in Westchester. This in itself isn’t all that remarkable, except that the restored, chamber version for saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and piano that we will perform that evening is wildly different from the score that most people are familiar with. Also on the 13th, the guitarist/composer Ben Frost is playing at the New York Public Library. I organized a brass sextet for that show, and I’m really looking forward to hearing how the music comes together.
How has working with Anthony Braxton shaped your musical experience?
Well, I think that his music works on such a deep conceptual level that hearing it has really made me understand the importance of concept prior to writing music, or prior to improvisation.
What impact has the Tri-Centric Orchestra had on your concept of the orchestra as an entity?
It has certainly expanded my mind – I see more possibilities for the ensemble than I could hear before.
What’s your favorite food?
Too many… maybe a hamburger, or a sausage… Pumking by Southern Tier Brewing Company for the fall…