From generation to generation, the spirit of creative music continues to evolve, bearing fruit in new music of all varieties and traditions. As defined by Leo Smith in 1974, creative music asks musicians to bring something of themselves into the music; it asks them to create something true that they can call their own. It is a living music in a constant state of growth and change. We honor Wadada Leo Smith this year with our first award of recognition: for his visionary musical and cultural analysis, for his revolutionary approach to composition, and for his brilliant brass playing which over the course of forty years has truly changed the playing field. He will honor us by coming to play at our celebration on opening day eve, Saturday, September 13.
This festival is at heart a reflection of the times – a sense of growth in every direction with no central style and no single musician at the forefront. Collective creativity has become the dominant force of our age.
So why a festival of new trumpet music? The hope is that in reading this program one will develop some answers. There is an explosion of new brass music and new players, and by opening this big umbrella, the connections between all sorts of diverse music become clear. Creative music needs to be supported and promoted. Thus, aside from simply presenting this broad array of music, FONT Music 2008 is also commissioning new music from three extraordinary players: Chris DiMeglio, Nabate Isles, and Reut Regev. This year also sees many new collaborations between trumpeters of varied persuasions. FONT Music puts the focus on the multitude of ways the trumpet is being sounded, and in the most grassroots sense it brings players and communities together in an embrace of creative culture.
Far from an exhaustive survey, these two weeks are but a small sampling from the vast ocean of current practice – how it has changed the world of brass and been changed by it. The sea change here is in the radical, dangerous proposal for the coexistence of all music, a dismantling of all the institutional barriers erected to preserve the separation of genres and communities. Our mission in brass is to proclaim this all over the city, with a clear tone and a pure sound, as a font of inspiration: that all music is one.
Dave Douglas, 2008
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