What is Global Trumpets?

Global Trumpets UG is the legal form for the organisation that carries projects that serve a variety of artistic projects and goals, primarily:

– the development of the trumpet, its technique and innovations in instrument building 

– concert and teaching projects with the trumpet and other brass instruments at their centre

– continued expansion of the Monochrome Project, Moving Picture 946-3, the Global Trumpets Festival, and several projects in development

Read on to learn more about past, current, and future projects and explorations of Global Trumpets!


The ensemble of Monochrome Project
© Eva Maria Müller

Inspired by his collaboration with the American composer La Monte Young, Marco Blaauw founded a trumpet ensemble in 2015 to explore the enormous variability of trumpet sounds and playing techniques within the framework of a wide variety of projects and through the development of diverse compositions. The ensemble is focused on the sound of the trumpet to show its astonishing variety. Through duplication, dense sound fields, subtle color changes, gradual and extreme dynamic curves, as well as motion, shifting distances, and perspectives, the single timbre becomes both the sonic foundation and accentuating highlight.

The Monochrome Project proves that less can also be more.

From 2015 to 2017, the ensemble gave several performances of La Monte Young’s “The Second Dream of The High Tension Line Step Down Transformer.” In 2018, the European premiere of “composition 103” by Anthony Braxton was staged and received rave reviews from audiences at the Ruhrtriennale and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. In 2020, a series of concerts featuring new works by Elnaz Seyedi, Justè Janulytè, and Márton Illés was planned for the ensemble. Because only one concert of this scheduled series could be performed, all three works were produced for radio and video in cooperation with WDR.

In 2021, the Monochrome Project collaborated with Martin Smolka and Juste Janulyte on 2 new works for the ensemble, both premiered on Philharmonie.tv. The ensemble also worked with composer Arvo Pärt to make an arrangement of his 1977 choral work, “Summa,” to be broadcasted in October 2021 for the Romanische Sommer festival. 

This fall, the Project will continue exploring new works by Rolf Wallin, Riccardo Nova and Bára Gísladóttir, as well as give another performance of La Monte Young’s “The Second Dream of The High Tension Line Step Down Transformer” in the Global Trumpets Festival in September. 

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946-3 Moving Picture

Moving images of countless colored strips and the sounds of a trumpet. Nothing about this interplay is simple, for as soon as the first note of the trumpet resonates over the film Moving Picture 946-3 and the virtual begins to merge with reality, one embarks on a spaceless, almost hypnotic dive through the structures.

The combination of image and sound opens up another dimension and spins a spherical momentum that becomes a continuous catalyst for visual associations. When the intensive, atmospheric sounds of Marco Blaauw’s trumpet, composed by Rebecca Saunders, are amplified by the collaborative work of Gerhard Richter and Corinna Belz, the
audience is thoroughly immersed and becomes part of a complex work of art.

Film Director Corinna Belz: Our first collaboration using this principle resulted in the 2016 film “Richter’s Patterns.” However, in September 2017, Richter sent me some notes on new ways he thought this principle might be applied to film. We began collaborating on a new project, “MOVING Picture 946-3,” based on his painting “946-3” – the culmination of a six-year research and development period.

Subjected to this system, the original visual material – the single Richter painting – displays an astonishing array of form and coloration variations. Due to the vertical splicing and mirroring of the divided section, the element of symmetry is constant in all phases. The resulting pattern/color combinations can also bear a striking likeness to organic phenomena and various cultural symbols. At the advanced stages of the division/mirroring/repetition process – when the painting has been distilled down to a series of colored lines – these symmetrical variations are no longer visually apparent, yet somehow remain subtly perceptible in the image – on a vibrational, or homeopathic level, so to speak

Global Trumpets Festival

Global Trumpets Festival Poster

September 25 – 30, 2021

International Festival of the Folkwang University of the Arts with concerts, workshops, masterclasses, and many high-profile guests

Is the sound of a trumpet part of a language that connects all people? Does it evoke a collective memory of an ancient form of communicating with each other – and what might this mean to us today? How do we connect with one another, through music and otherwise, regardless of age, origin, and gender? 

These questions were at the beginning of a worldwide research project by trumpeter Marco Blaauw, at which time he met trumpet professor Laura Vukobratović. This encounter sparked the initiative to organize an international trumpet festival in cooperation with the Folkwang University of the Arts. 

The Global Trumpets Festival highlights many exciting aspects of the trumpet: from different playing styles and genres to the underrepresentation of women and lack of diversity in the professional scene. 

The Global Trumpets Festival is planned as a hybrid: From September 25 to 30, musicians, students, teachers, and scholars from different continents will come together digitally and in-person to make the trumpet and other lip-reed instruments resound. 

Under the direction of Folkwang trumpet professor Laura Vukobratović and the internationally renowned trumpeter Marco Blaauw, an outstanding program has been created with numerous concerts, workshops, lectures, and discussion formats. 

The audience is cordially invited to become acquainted with the trumpet and its related instruments across the entire spectrum – from jazz to classical to early and new music to cross-genre styles. Guests include luminaries of the international trumpet scene such as Bruce Dickey, Peter Evans, Mireia Farrés, Reinhold Friedrich, Mazen Kerbaj, Rajesh Mehta, Wadada Leo Smith, Taylor Ho Bynum, and John Wallace.

The festival is 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.

Detailed information about the program will be available soon at: globaltrumpets.folkwang-uni.de