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
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.