Tim Garland

28 June 2008

Tim Garland is widely known as one of the UK’s most successful musical exports working in jazz. To find out more, read on . . .

Anyone who sees Tim Garland play is invariably astonished by his virtuosity and sheer musicality. Not only is he one of the top three or four saxophonists on the planet, but Tim Garland can, seemingly effortlessly, turn his hand to orchestration, conducting, lyrics and, most particularly, composition.

Tim has worked with Audio Network’s Creative Director, Andrew Sunnucks, for more years than either of them care to remember. “I think we first got together in 1989 when we worked on some tracks for the Steve Wright Show on Radio 1!”, says Tim sadly! Since then Tim and Andrew have worked together more or less constantly.

As Tim’s career has gone from strength to strength this liaison has remained as strong as ever. “Tim is now one of the UK’s most successful musical exports working in jazz (although he finds the word restricting) and it’s great that we still enjoy working together as much as ever”, says Andrew.

The Writer

Although best known in the jazz field, Tim’s writing has moved way beyond its boundaries; he’s now known worldwide for his skills with large ensembles and orchestras. “Part of music is experimentation and the range of sounds an orchestra can make is only limited by the imagination – which is why I love getting them to do things they’re not usually asked to do”, says Tim.

Certainly the last recordings done with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra surprised the musicians when Tim insisted on adding a full big band line up. RPO Managing Director Ian McClay said, “The players love doing unusual repertoire and Tim’s writing certainly kept them on their toes.” Listen here.

As a player Tim’s reputation needs no better endorsement than the fact that he has collaborated for many years with Chick Corea (they both play on each others’ albums) and that he has toured and recorded with many other luminaries including Bill Bruford and Jamie Cullum.

Who’s said what about Tim?

“Tim Garland has won just about every jazz honour going and any release by him is an event, but the sheer range of this programme is extraordinary. It is played by Garland on saxophone and bass flute, Chick Corea on piano ... the freshness of Garland’s invention is compelling.” “The Mystery”
Dave Gelly, The Observer – 29th April 2007  
 
“Garland is the 2006 ‘Musician Of The Year’ in the UK’s Parliamentary Jazz Society Vote. He also won a major BBC award for Innovation, for The Lighthouse Project and his highly acclaimed If the Sea Replied.”

“Garland has written for the LSO, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, Westminster Abbey Choir and many other ensembles that are drawn to his eclectic vision. He likes to refer to his wide-ranging output as a ‘Diverse Unity’.”

Formidable. The Guardian

Q&A 

What was your most embarrassing faux pas?

“In Ireland, with their national orchestra, as soloist alongside Cleo Laine, my trousers started falling down. I felt the ‘ping’ of the button shooting out into the front row, and did one of those contorted sax solos masquerading as emotion, (see picture above!) but actually to stop my bloomers from public view – oh – and not recognising Princess Margaret when she popped into a master class I was taking at the Royal Academy Of Music! That’s pretty good!”

 

Which album do you air guitar/drum/keyboard to?

“Tower Of Power’s  Soul With A Capital S! Do it now, you’ll feel better I assure you.”

 

Any musical guilty pleasures?

Singing In The Rain, oh, and I know the lyrics to the Ben Ten theme – Daddy stuff you know.”

 

Do you ever hear a complete piece of music in your head before writing it/ recording it?

“No, but often it happens quickly.”

 

Who would play you in a movie?

“Queen Latifa, no, more like Kevin Spacey, he looks like a good mimic!”

 

Which composer or band would you bring back from the dead?

“My own – well, er, John Coltrane and Toru Takemitsu, oh, Bach, what would he be up to with a laptop?”

 

What is your greatest extravagance?

“My wife.”

 

Any words of wisdom you would like to offer or have received?

“OK, more seriously, when you say that you put everything first for music as a young hopeful, you’ve really got to mean it for real.”

 

Any hidden talents?

“Lentil bake – I’m the best.”
 

What/who would you put in Room 101?

“The word ‘jazz’ – we need a newer one.”

 

Your top 5 musical works of all time are?

“Henri Dutilleux – The Shadows Of Time, Symphony no. 1 and Symphony no. 2. That leaves two more – A Love Supreme (John Coltrane) and The Long And Winding Road (Lennon/McCartney).”

 

Other than family, what one thing would you rescue if your house was on fire?

“My saxophone!”

 

If you could be reincarnated, who would you come back as?

“The inventor of the Time Machine, then I could come back here again, it’s fun!”

 

Have you ever been on Top of The Pops?

“Yes, as part of a Children In Need thing.”

 

If you weren’t writing music for a living what would you be doing?

“I’d like to work with wood, make movies, be a doctor, write poetry, oh, and run a café that sells the best coffee in the country.”

 

What inspires you?

“Poetry: Machado, Paul Eluard, Don Paterson, Ben Okri’s poem for the millennium (God I can never spell that word). Great musicianship from my companions, Buddhist teachings, other people’s success.”

 

What’s behind you?

“A quiet life.”

 


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