Matt Barbier is an LA based trombonist and composer focused on experimental intonation, noise, and the physical processes of his instrument. His playing has been described by the LA Times as being “of intense, brilliant, virtuosic growling that gave the striking impression that Barbier was dismantling the instrument while playing it.”
To encourage new repertoire and the expansion of his instrument, Matt engages in collaborative relationships with a range of composers including Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Michelle Lou, Nicholas Deyoe, Andrew Greenwald, David Brynjar Franzson, Timothy McCormack, Elise Roy, and Ray Evanoff. He has also given world premieres of works by a wide spectrum of composers including Katharina Rosenberger, Richard Barrett, Catherine Lamb, James Tenney, Anne LeBaron, and Jürg Frey.
Matt is a founding member of gnarwhallaby, a Los Angeles based mixed quartet formed to revive the repertoire of Poland’s Warsztat Muzyczny and Germany’s Quartet Avance. He is also a member of the low brass duo, RAGE Thormbones, with Weston Olencki, Trio Kobayashi, wildUp, and is an assistant director of wasteLAnd music. Matt is a member of the performing arts faculty at CalArts and teaches trombone and euphonium at Los Angeles City College (LACC).
Matt has performed for the Monday Evening Concerts, LA Phil’s Green Umbrella, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Dartington International Summer School, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Hamburg’s KlangWerkTage and Kampnagel, Berlin’s 7Hours, Palimpsest Ensemble, InAuthentica, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the New Century Players, and The Ensemble at CalArts, as well as presenting guest lectures at CalArts, UCSD, UCSB, University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University. He has also been in residence at Harvard (HGNM), UCSD, Stanford, CalArts, UCSC, NYU, and UCLA. Matt has recorded works for release of Populist, Mode, Hat Hut, and Innova Records. Additionally, he has released a technical manual for composers and trombonists on the production and compositional integration of lip multiphonics and split tones.
As a composer he has written music and created sound installations for The Factory Seconds Brass Trio, WasteLAnd, gnarwhallaby, RAGE Thormbones, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, SASSAS, Machine Project, LACMA, the Los Angeles Trombone Collective, and the Getty Villa, as well as engaging in a long term collaborative relationship with digital media artist Tom Leeser.
His trombone teachers include Richard Stout, James Miller, Michael Svoboda, Alex Iles and Dick Erb. He studied composition with Ulrich Krieger and Wolfgang von Schweinitz. Matt has received degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, NOCCA, and CalArts, with additional studies at the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (IMD).