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Brass with Steve Thompson

In this episode, Anna talks to trombonist, composer, arranger and laser harpist Steve Thompson about brass. We talk the history of brass instruments (including a casual Ancient Egyptian cursed trumpet), what makes brass such a good material for things like trombones, and what musicians like Steve (and to a far lesser extent, Anna) look for from their brass. We also undertake the biggest and bravest ‘rial Talk experiment yet, where we - with the help of Andrea Sella - dip a trombone bell in liquid nitrogen just to see what happens (see video below).

About Steve

Since graduating from the Trinity College of Music in London in trombone performance and electronic music, Steve has worked equally in classical and commercial music, working with Nigel Kennedy, The London Concert Orchestra, The London Mozart Players, Jamie Cullum, Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Cure, Billy Bragg, Charlotte Church, Eliza Doolittle, Eric Idle, The Hackney Colliery Band, Prof Brian Cox, The Two Ronnies, Lisa Stansfield, many more.

In 2015 he started his own band, 1201_Alarm, merging acoustic instruments with cutting edge electronic textures. The music is inspired by science, innovation, technology and endeavour and played their first gig at a Science Festival in Singapore sponsored by LucasFilm. For the first album, Hello_World, Steve interviewed many leading scientists and critical thinkers, some of whom appear on the album. The album will be released in the summer of 2019.

Steve is passionate about music education and his arrangements for brass ensemble have been played around the world. He is Head of Brass at both Eltham College and St Dunstan's College in London. His first book, a collection of studies for aspiring young trombonists, was published in 2008 by Warwick Music.

Check out Steve’s band 1201_Alarm here and here, and follow them on Twitter.

Follow Steve on Twitter.