Ingrid Laubrock, composer

Ingrid Laubrock playing saxophone

Originally from Germany, Ingrid Laubrock is a saxophonist/composer based in Brooklyn since 2009. Laubrock is interested in exploring the borders between musical realms and creating multi-layered, dense and often evocative sound worlds.

She worked with: Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richards Abrams, Dave Douglas, Kenny Wheeler, Jason Moran, Tim Berne, William Parker, Tom Rainey, Mary Halvorson, Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey, Craig Taborn, Luc Ex, Django Bates’ Human Chain, The Continuum Ensemble, Wet Ink and many others.

Laubrock's main projects as a leader are Anti-House, Sleepthief, Ingrid Laubrock Septet and Ubatuba. Collaborations include Paradoxical Frog, Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey Duo and Crump/Smythe/Laubrock. She is a member of Anthony Braxton's Falling River Music Quartet, Nonet and 12+1tet, Tom Rainey Trio and Obbligato, Mary Halvorson Septet, Kris’ Davis Quintet, Nate Wooley’s Battle Pieces and Luc Ex’ Assemblée. She was one of the featured soloists in Anthony Braxton’s opera Trillium J.

Awards include the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2004, a Fellowship in Jazz Composition by the Arts Foundation in 2006, the 2009 SWR German Radio Jazz Prize, the 2014 German Record Critics Quarterly Award, Downbeat Annual Critics Poll Rising Star Soprano Saxophone (2015) , Rising Star Tenor Saxophone (2018) and Herb Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Composition 2019.

Commissions include Jammy Dodgers for Jazz Quintet and dancers (Covent Garden Opera 2006), Nonet Music for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2007, Octet for SWR New Jazz Meeting 2011, Echo for SZOctet (A L'Arme Festival 2015) and chamber orchestra pieces Vogelfrei (ACO/Tricentric Foundation 2014) and Contemporary Chaos Practices (moers festival 2017) and Chants II (Wet Ink 2018).

Laubrock was Improviser in Residence 2012 in the German city Moers. The post is created to introduce creative music into the city throughout the year. As part of this she led a regular improvisation ensemble and taught sound workshops in elementary schools.

Other teaching experiences include improvisation workshops at Towson University, CalArts, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, Baruch College, University of Michigan, University of Newcastle and many others.

Ingrid Laubrock's Unveiled premiered on March 4, 2022 with the Grossman Ensemble. 

Program notes:

When composing, I often find myself drawing on the irregular patterns of nature: the beauty of inexact repetition; the same, but not the same. The blueprint for Unveiled was conceived on early morning hikes through San Antonio Canyon Park in Santa Barbara, CA, where I was at the time. After a couple of days the music started to appear and I started jotting down whatever occurred to me in the little scoring book I always carry with me. I love the fragility of this part of the process. Ideas come and go, and — in my case — many are discarded, but there is a sense of flow and direct connection with creativity that is personal, intuitive, nonjudgmental, and direct. As the outline of Unveiled started to crystallize, I also began taking photos of my surroundings, that would later help to transport me back to this mindset. The photo that most seemed to represent the layers of the piece was a picture of funnel spiders’ webs covered in dew drops, highlighting the webs that are usually not as easy to see. Unveiled plays with groups of instruments gradually emerging from denser, fuller carpets of sounds, much like the funnel spider webs that are usually hidden in the fabric of a forest floor were highlighted by the dew.

Ingrid Laubrock's "Unveiled"