On May 4th, ghostly avant-garde trumpeter jaimie branch presents her 2019 commissioned work: May the 4th Be With You.
Tell us about yourself and what you’re planning for Roulette.
My name is jaime branch; I am a trumpetist, composer, and improvisor from Chicago, based in Brooklyn. I wrote a multimedia piece for this Roulette performance for my electronic duo Anteloper with Jason Nazary and Chicago-based video artist Kim Alpert. In this work, we will be exploring the visuality of sonic spectrums, turning the audible into the visual. The second set is a rare NYC set with Fly or Die—my quartet featuring Lester St. Louis on cello, Jason Ajemian on bass, and Chad Taylor on drums and Mbira.
What is your first musical memory?
My first musical memory is probably watching my older brother Russell practice piano — he was ten years older than me and played the shit out of some Billy Joel. I was pretty much hooked from the jump wanting to play music from the time I can remember. There’s also a picture of me in a bunny suit playing some keys circa 1986, but that one’s less of a memory and more of a feeling.
What is influencing your work right now?
So many things are constantly influencing my work, but it’s mostly my surroundings, the people I play with, the cities I find myself in… I’m interested in art that is fully saturated — this is not to be confused with density or volume, although it could be both of those things. Potent music. I’ve come to find that music is an ether—sometimes it swirls just out of reach, but it’s always in the air. Sometimes we choose to tune in and sometimes we don’t. But music doesn’t go anywhere one note played one time echoes throughout eternity. I’m trying to tune in to the hidden music of the universe, ya know?
What is the most vivid dream you’ve ever had?
I had a REALLY vivid dream on the plane just the other day — I thought I had leaned over and hit a bowl ON THE PLANE. Just a one hitter (I’m not that fancy, even in my dreams) and even though I was holding in the smoke like a champ, some got out and another passenger noticed and started fussing. I then jerked awake only to find that I was in a plastic box, then I fought through the confusion and actually woke up. I straight up thought we had landed. I’m all, “Why isn’t anyone getting off the plane?” Twenty minutes later, they announced we were beginning our descent into Knoxville. Pretty cool blue dream.