Interview: Simon Dobson for Horror Show

For the EBBC 2016, we had the honor to order a piece from Oliver Waespi and he proposed Hypercube, a piece with urban atmosphere based on the Arch of La Defense in Paris. For this 2017 edition held in Ostende in Belgium, we wanted to work with Simon Dobson, rock star in the world of brass band. He composed Horror Show, in memoriam of people who died during the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015.  The Com section went to meet with him and discuss this wonderful project. Interview!

Simon Dobson

PBB: Can you present yourself shortly? How did you become the professional you are today?

SD: I played in a brassband until I left to study composition in London at the Royal College of Music in 2000. Since then I habe been performing, composing and conducting as much as I can!

PBB: Can you describe your work as composer? What are your inspirations?

SD: As a composer, I see my job only to try to make sense of the world through music. I write for as many different ensembles as possible, and always try to make the best art I can. Brassbands are my first love, but I find interest in all forms of music…

PBB: So you play the french horn, the trumpet, you compose music with different styles and you are now well known for composing, but is there a style or a musical environment that you prefer?

SD: I love jazz (althought it is very difficult), but as much as I am a classical musician, I’ve always been involved in punk, rock and drum’n’bass! Ultimately I strive to create music that takes influence from all of these places. Hopefully this can be heard in my compositions…

PBB: What are your projects for the future?

SD: I am writing a piece for Black Dyke band to perform at a big music festival in the UK. Later this year I will conduct my orchestra, the Parallax Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, and soon after that plan to release my second solo album of compositions.

PBB: If you could have one project to work on, what could it be? No dreams are too big…

SD: A Punk Rock Symphony!!

PBB: The Paris Brass Band heard about you and your work because of successful pieces you wrote, but how did you heard about our band? What was your main motivation for working with us?

SD: For me the PBB come from nowhere… Straight to great success! I’ve been interested in the band since then!

PBB: Our current project together is about Paris’ terrorist attacks in November 2015. How did you try to integrate that in your work? And generally, how were all of these terrible events were perceived in England?

SD: Like the rest of Europe, we watched in horror all the events in November. It stayed with me and I know that I had to pay musical tribute when I had the opportunity… With your band, it luckily happened!

PBB: This interview come to her end. As a final question, what can we wish you? What can we wish US?

SD: I hope that the PBB perform well at this EBBC, and continue to be fearless in commissioning new music. Hopefully PBB can wish that we work together again in the future!!

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