Click here to read part one of this article. Bryan Hooten is a trombonist, composer and educator who performs with a variety of ensembles from across the musical spectrum including Fight the Big Bull, No BS! Brass and Ombak. Bryan Hooten’s solo trombone record “Richmond Love Call” is available now on itunes or find him […]
Click here to read part one of this article.
Bryan Hooten is a trombonist, composer and educator who performs with a variety of ensembles from across the musical spectrum including Fight the Big Bull, No BS! Brass and Ombak.
Bryan Hooten’s solo trombone record “Richmond Love Call” is available now on itunes or find him for a hard copy.
Question: How different is the process of working on a record and developing music alone?
BH: Most of it is different because of the amount of time I can spend on it. I can practice my solo trombone repertoire anytime regardless of other people’s schedules.
In other ways, I think it is more difficult. You have no one to bounce ideas off of, no time to rest and fewer ways to change the orchestration. In some ways it is really hard but I really enjoy it.
Question: Did you learn a lot of things about yourself?
BH: As a player, what didn’t I learn about myself. As a player and personally, I am learning to have more patience. In the solo performance situation, the right answer always appears to be, I need to fill up all of this space. But actually, doing that can ruin some really good musical ideas. Musically I need to learn to be patient. That also affects me personally. I don’t need to fill up all of the space in my life. I also learned that a project like this is possible. Every time I reach a plateau, I have a better perspective on what is possible.
Question: Over the past few years, you have performed solo several times. How different of an experience is it performing solo when you aren’t surrounded by Fight The Big Bull, Ombak, NoBS!, etc.?
BH: It is like being naked in front of a whole bunch of people. The more teaching that I do, the better I get at playing solo trombone. Teaching a theory class, or leading a big band or instructing a marching band, you are the guy in charge and you have to be on with no one else to depend upon. That is not to say that I am ever musically or mentally disengaged when playing with other bands. It is intense having all of the music be on you and no one else for the audience to look at.
Question: You aren’t from Richmond, but you love it. What does this city mean to you personally and musically?
BH: I think it is the perfect blend between everything I love about the South having grown up (in Alabama) and everything I love about being a creative person. It’s friendly. Everyone knows everyone else, yet it is also artistically very forward thinking and the artists take a lot of risks. I am so glad to be a part of the scene. I think for lack of a better term, Richmond is a spiritual home for me.
Question: Finally, what is next for solo trombone and your music in general?
BH: Well, for solo trombone, I want to do two or three more albums. I am entertaining the idea of recording each one at a different studio and working with a different producer.
There are no electronics on this record but I can see the next one involving electronics. I have experimented a little with using a distortion pedal live but for the time being I am staying away from loop pedals.
I am really enjoying writing and singing for No BS!. I am writing a new set of songs for Ombak and I do mean songs with words sung by a singer. I am also kicking around the idea of a top-secret collaboration with snow panda. I am also excited about all of the upcoming recording projects with Spacebomb records.