Six questions with… Jackson Fumberger, violinist, composer

By Stella Joseph-Jarecki (Enquiries: stellamusicwriter.wordpress.com)

I had the chance to fire some questions at Jackson Fumberger, violinist and graduate of a BMus in Interactive Composition. Jackson plays both traditional and electric violin and has a number of composition projects in the works. You can follow Jackson’s work through his website and Instagram.

What prompted you to pick up the violin?

I decided as a ten-year-old that the violin was a cool instrument. Yikes… I remember wanting to play drums when I was little – possibly after my older cousins put me up on a drum stool and let me bash away on their kit. Then in early primary school I had a couple of friends who played guitar, which prompted me to pick up the violin because obviously guitars are far too popular and I had to be special.

At this point in time, what does your ideal mix of musical careers look like? (Balancing performing/ composing, etc)

There are so many things I want to try but haven’t been motivated to start, so I guess my ideal balance would include teaching and gigging but would leave some time for new ideas every week. It’s very much a jack-of-all trades/master of none kind of mentality, but the allure of something different and intriguing is too good to pass up.

What kind of repertoire do you enjoy performing?

Folk music is absolutely the most fun a string player can have in a concert. When there’s a combination of energy and ease, you have that brief window to let go of any inhibitions and really have fun. Playing in a big orchestra used to feel like that, but that spark can quickly fade in a professional environment where every minute of call time counts.

What kind of composition are you interested in?

I’m particularly interested in using lots of effects and loops to make music, so my music is often a big collage of orchestral strings and ambient soundscapes. I’d love to be more creative with harmony or rhythm like one of those fancy real composers, but I enjoy music that sounds nice and that’s enough for me.

Do you have any projects in the works?

I have a few group collaborations coming together now that have been really fun. One is a minimalism and process music ensemble currently working through some Steve Reich arrangements, and another is an EP I’m co-writing with pianist and synth player Reuben Leng. In the future I’d like to reboot my solo project reGen, which combined live surround sound looping with code art – maybe not until I’ve figured how the heck this coding stuff works.

How has your life as a musician and teacher changed in this temporary COVID-19 environment? 

I’m actually way more productive when I work from home, especially when there’s no work! Seriously though, I’m glad that I haven’t been adversely affected by the situation and can still work and stay occupied by making music. I could be far worse off and I’m very grateful for that.

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