27 may, 22:00 - Place de la Bourse

Theon Cross

Theon Cross is one of those rare musicians whose vision has redefined their instrument. His unique approach to the tuba has expanded the instrument’s sonic possibilities in revolutionary fashion, restoring it to a long-forgotten prominence as a crucial part of the contemporary jazz ensemble. Through his combination of technical mastery, studio smarts, deep musical knowledge and expansive vision, the power and originality of Theon’s playing has reinvented the tuba’s place in modern music.

Exploring the tuba’s possibilities in the light of diasporic bass culture – ‘Afro-Diaspora Music’ or ADM, as he calls it – Theon has worked to develop the full sonic spectrum of his instrument, transforming it into a total 21st century sound-system, powered by breath. Using the instrument’s ability to produce sub-sonics, bass, mids, and tops, Theon creates complete sound-worlds, building up from rhythm and bass to arrive at melody. Employing its oft-neglected capacity to generate complex multiphonics and sustained pedal tones, he can summon colour, texture and atmosphere. With this expanded low-end theory as his base, Theon approaches his music with a sensibility that travels freely across outernational style and genre, but which remains deeply rooted in his own African-Caribbean heritage. A graduate of Guildhall school of music and an alumnus of the legendary Tomorrow’s Warriors, he is as at home with ensemble jazz as he is when playing road marches, collaborating with grime stars, or providing bassline pressure in reggae, afrobeat or soca settings.

‘In a period of isolation, when our perception of control over our circumstances is in questionable condition, we seek moments of peace,’ says Theon of the album. ‘I believe the most effective way to find tranquillity in an era of tension is for individuals to search within themselves and gain mental clarity, through the process of meditation and self reasoning. The music of Intra-I acts as a musical depiction of this philosophy, incorporating life lessons and life experiences into the sound.’