Barry Guy

(b. 1947)
Barry Guy
Peter Bastian

“Barry Guy’s music is like a force of nature". So remarked a London critic recently. I liked the phrase since it recognised the organic connections between improvisation and composition: a fluidity of ideas that one bequeaths to the other and vice versa. The performer stands at the centre of my musical thoughts.

Barry Guy is an innovative double bass player and composer whose creative diversity in the fields of Jazz improvisation, solo recitals, chamber and orchestral performance is the outcome both of an unusually varied training and a zest for experimentation, underpinned by a dedication to the double bass and the ideal of musical communication.

He is founder and Artistic Director of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and the BGNO (Barry Guy New Orchestra) for which he has written several extended works. In 2014 he founded the “Blue Shroud Band” to perform his composition “The Blue Shroud” based on Picasso’s painting “Guernica” with texts by the Irish poet Kerry Hardie.

His concert works have been widely performed; just some of his wide range of compositions are: Flagwalk (1983), The Eye of Silence (1988), Look Up! (1990), After the Rain (1992), Bird Gong Game (1992), Fallingwater (1996), Redshift (1998), Remembered Earth (1999), Nasca Lines (2001), Folio (2002) and Anaklasis (2003), The Butterfly Series (2002/4), Convergence (2006), Horizontal Blue (2008), Tales of Enchantment (2010) , FFF (2010) , “Time Passing…” (2013), a.o. The scores however are virtuosic and often present innovative sonorities and extended instrumental techniques and as a performer himself he is ideally placed to assess these possibilities.

Barry Guy continues to give solo recitals throughout Europe as well as continuing associations with colleagues involved in improvised, baroque and contemporary music. His current regular ensembles are the Homburger/Guy duo, the Parker/Guy duo, piano trios with Marilyn Crispell and Paul Lytton, Jaques Demierre and Lucas Niggli and the AURORA trio with Agusti Fernandez and Ramon Lopez. He continues the longstanding trio with Evan Parker and Paul Lytton as well as projects with Mats Gustafsson.

After living in Ireland for nine years, he and his wife Maya Homburger moved to Switzerland in 2006 where they continue to run their CD Label MAYA Recordings and contribute to the New, Improvised and Early Music Scene as well as touring with a variety of musical projects all over Europe.