Theon Cross

Monday 24 January 2022

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.

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