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Meet Rodger Fox

Rodger Fox is one of New Zealand’s foremost jazz trombonists, big band leaders, a jazz educator, an arranger and a producer. In our Composer Spaces series, we ask composers to share a bit about their working environment and to give us a brief insight into their process. This week we invite you to learn more about, Rodger.

What does a typical composing day look like for you? 

Composing for me has always been on the fly and balanced between full days of teaching, band rehearsals, and gigs. So this has meant that any composing and arranging I do is done late at night. When I have composed something, it's usually inspired by something I have heard and read about.

Please describe the space where you compose your music.

As I am always on the move, my composing/arranging is where ever I am at any given time. Half an hour between classes / after a gig or the location doesn't really come into it. The only equipment used is a very small portage keyboard..... which is small enough to go in a suitcase.

What equipment (including software) do you have in your space? 

I have always written by hand - and have always had someone who can copy from the score. So score paper/pencil and a rubber.

Please describe your typical composing process. Does it change with each piece?

Usually, I work on a theme when I compose or arrange something. i.e., I have a project, and the material covers these groove/styles, so I wrote/arranged something that balances out the material.

What are you currently working on in your space? 

I have arranged/composed a piece for big band based on the Hone Tuwhare poem Miles Davis that is currently being recorded.

Nick Tipping interviewed Rodger for the SOUNZ Podcasts. You can listen to the two-part series Rodger Fox: A Life in Jazz by clicking here.