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6th Week TT24 Newsletter - Tom Bruges

Each week, the OUMS newsletter features an interview with someone who positively contributes to the Oxford music scene.This week, we sat down with music student and composer Tom Bruges, to ask about his musical experience at Oxford and involvement with Red Lipstick.


Tom Bruges

Guitarist and Composer

 

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m Tom, and I’m a second-year music student at St Anne’s college. I got into music playing classical guitar but have since become concerningly interested in composition and musicology with a focus on experimental music. Luckily, Oxford has been a great place to meet people interested in endless, different, brilliantly insane music. I also help run a concert series of new music, RED LIPSTICK, with previous concerts including electronic works for octophonics, group free improvisation in the dark, and crooner jazz ballades.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

This term’s Red Lipstick concert, called DUOS, features collaborations between composers and Ruskin Artists and is on Monday of week 7 at the JdP, so put it into your google (or otherwise) calendars. Whilst I don’t want to spoil too much, the concert will feature short films, multimedia electronics and a free improvisation at the end for the audience to get involved with – so if you want to bring an instrument along do feel free! Beside this, I am working on dissertations on Ben Johnston’s microtonal string quartets and classical guitarists’ fingernails.

 

What has your favourite musical experience been at Oxford so far?

So much amazing music has happened in my two years here and being a part of the new music side of things means you have the privilege to watch composers grow and find their style (as well as having bragging rights for saying I got to see the premier of these great people’s works!). On that note, the recent EMPRes x Modern Art Oxford installation featured lots of exciting music and I even got to perform in a few, so it was certainly a highlight. 

 

Where can you see yourself going in the future?

When I swapped from wanting to do maths to music in a fit of pandemic clarity, I resolved that whatever I ended up doing, as long as it involved music, I would be happy. Whilst things are of course uncertain – as they should be – I am currently wanting to go down the route of academia, whilst keeping composition on the side. 

 

Give us a music recommendation! 

Now this is the make-or-break question.  In the morning, wake yourself up with the monumental climax of Ben Johnston’s 4th string quartet. During the day, motivate yourself with Oxford professor Jennifer Walshe’s collaboration with Tony Conrad In the Merry Month of May (that just released on 24th May). In the evening, chill with . .-. .- … . -.. ’s (Erased) track, “.-.. . - .. - --. ---".

 

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