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Callum G'Froerer Photo: Pia Johonson

Callum G’Froerer
Photo: Pia Johonson

In 2011, as a trumpet player I was grateful that ANAM didn’t have a brass program.

I was still living in Perth, and was lucky enough to be invited to play in a number of concerts at ANAM, which turned out to be some of the highlights of my time as a trumpet player thus far. The one that most stood out was a concert with Sebastian Lang-Lessing, which included Webern’s Variations for Orchestra, Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, and James Ledger’s Trumpet Concerto, played by my teacher, David Elton. I was able to play some of the greatest and most enjoyable repertoire, as well as playing behind one of my absolute favourite trumpet players.

Each time I would visit Melbourne I would also be doing improvised music gigs, catching up with Melbourne friends, and seeing teachers like Scott Tinkler, Peter Knight, and Tristram Williams. It was Tristram who instilled in me a love of contemporary classical trumpet repertoire, which continues to grow with each new piece I learn.

In 2012, I was part of the inaugural brass intake at ANAM, plus I had finally moved to Melbourne, so between these two facts, it was one of the best years so far. ANAM provided a highly motivated atmosphere and just listening to the other students was blowing my mind on a daily basis. At the end of 2012, I successfully applied for an 2013 ANAM Fellowship, which brings us to this blog entry.

One of the things that led to me wanting to apply for a Fellowship was meeting a trumpet player in Berlin, Nathan Plante. I was using Nathan’s practice studio for a week in Kreuzberg, which was also the headquarters of his newly-formed publishing company, Edition Plante. Edition Plante currently represents 6 Berlin-based composers from a variety of nationalities. I admire Nathan’s passion and the service he is doing for his colleagues, so I figured a Fellowship would be a great platform to program, play, and promote the works he publishes.

I am also keen to promote the large and ever-growing body of contemporary Australian repertoire. ANAM already is committed to showcasing Australian works especially through their Australian Voices series, and I wanted to simply continue this idea in my own concerts.

The other central idea of my Fellowship is to utilise venues that rarely show contemporary classical music. The first concert I put on in March, ROOM IN THE GHOST, was at Conduit Arts in Fitzroy, which is a gallery/performance space run by Leo Kavanagh and Marie Schoenmaker, and that program included 4 Australian compositions, and one from Edition Plante’s catalogue by Sebastian Elikowski-Winkler.

I’m hoping to continue the extremely positive vibrations from that performance with my upcoming Fellowship concert, WRONG ANSWERS, on Monday June 3rd at 7pm. The venue is a large resonant warehouse space, called He & Eve & The Big Apple, located close to the beautiful Merri Creek in Northcote. This concert includes two compositions from Edition Plante: an agitated and inward-looking solo trumpet piece, ‘MACH’ by Eres Holz and ‘Wrong Answers to Robert B’s Wrong Question’, for solo metal sheet by Abel Paul. Rebecca Saunders’ ‘Blue/Gray’ for two basses and Helmut Lachenmann’s ‘Toccatina’ for solo violin are textural pieces of extreme difference, from the very violent to the extremely minute and introspective, respectively. A prelude and 2 interludes by Morton Feldman plus an epilogue of sorts by Elliott Carter rounds out the program.

After a set of notated music, myself and three long time collaborators will offer a set of improvised music: Jenny Barnes, voice; Jon Heilbron, bass; Jon Smeathers, electronics.

For more see www.caluumgfroerer.com

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