Fourteenth Piece: Chris Guilfoyle
This sixth work of this winter season of Piece By Piece, and fourteenth in the series overall, comes from guitarist Chris Guilfoyle, premiering on Friday 15th January at 8pm.
Chris is an Irish guitarist, composer, bandleader, and educator who tours regularly around Ireland and abroad including the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium and France. Since 2011, Chris has been a member of faculty on Newpark Music Centre’s BA in Jazz Performance program, and has since become a Jazz Lecturer at Dublin City University where he teaches guitar and ensemble studies. Chris leads his own group Umbra, a critically acclaimed quintet featuring some of the most promising musicians in Ireland. Umbra have released two records in the last two years and have toured extensively in Ireland and Europe. In his relatively short career, Chris has played with some of the biggest names in jazz including Dave Liebman, Jim Black, Tom Rainey, Theo Bleckmann, Nils Wogram, Ralph Peterson, John O’Gallagher, and David Binney. He also performs with Ronan Guilfoyle, Conor Guilfoyle, Sean Carpio and Michael Buckley, some of the most highly regarded musicians on the Irish jazz scene.
Q 1. What does improvisation mean to you?
For me, improvisation means discovery. I’m always trying to find something new when I’m improvising, this could be melodically or rhythmically or both at the same time! One of the things that I love about the guitar is that I feel like there is always something new to find on the instrument. There’s a myriad of different approaches to playing the guitar and it is through this variety of approaches that new ideas can be found.
Q 2. How do you think about engaging with material or ideas from another artist when improvising?
It depends on the context, but I do always find myself thinking about what I can do to enrich the music. Should I try to imitate what the other players are doing? Should I try to compliment what they’re doing? Should I contrast? Or should I not play anything at all? They’re all legitimate approaches.
Q 3. How do you think the world of music is changing or will change as result of the COVID-19 crisis?
I think it will have definitely changed. I think those who have resisted streaming services or Patreon or other subscription-based sites have had to join in on these platforms because there’s nowhere to play at all right now in front of a live audience. I’m hopeful that there will be gigs again, once enough people have been vaccinated, but I do see these online platforms having more of a role in audience-building, much more so than they have been before
See details on the whole winter season of Piece by Piece here.