Pierre Flasse (1995) is a British/Belgian composer, performer, arranger, musical director and educator from Maidstone, Kent. He grew up playing trombone in a variety of ensembles, such as Kent County Youth Orchestra, Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra and Maidstone Symphony Orchestra, whilst also studying piano. He studied Music at the University of Manchester and graduated in 2016 with a first-class honours degree, specialising in composition and performance. During this time he studied trombone with Rob Holliday and Blair Sinclair, and composition with Kevin Malone. He then continued his compositional studies at the university on the Masters Instrumental Composition programme for two years under the tutelage of Phil Grange and Nina Whiteman, graduating with a Distinction in November 2018.
As a composer, he has a vast array of compositional and collaborative experience in the areas that resonates with him the most; contemporary classical, jazz, klezmer and electronics. His music has been performed and workshopped by a variety of ensembles across the UK, including Manchester Contemporary Youth Opera, Opera North, Vonnegut Collective, Quatuor Danel and Leeds Lieder festival. He was selected as a finalist for the Kaleidoscope Orchestra in 2018 through his jazz, spoken-word song cycle The Importance of Being, with the poetry of Charles Bukowski. He is also working on a jazz opera that explores themes of gaslighting and disinformation in the current age.
Pierre has a passion for writing music and sound designing for film, video games and media. He is currently an assistant composer to Sally Potter. He has created and coded his own game Little Sailor Joe, and worked on two indie games, Jambear's Adventures and Dinner Party. He has also scored two original soundtracks for film; Sis - a drama about an intense family relationship, and Svaha - an adventure film about two friends kayaking the Caribbean. He took part in the Edinburgh-based collaborative animation festival 10x10x21, and as a result has led to a current collaboration with Calum Main for a macro-filming art piece combined with fragmented and aggressive soundscapes that will explore vivid non-verbal storytelling.
In 2019, Pierre left Europe to travel India whilst engaging with local communities in workshops. Much of his musical journey was based in Rajasthan, working with folk musicians. Several collaborative projects are in the developing process with fusion albums and concerts. Pierre also learnt how to play several local instruments, including the algoza and khartal. This led him to focus his musical approach through a lens of feeling and spirituality, implementing a natural and deep connection between the performer and the listener. His music is focused on exploring the movement between harmonic timbres and textures of different sound worlds.This has been the inception of his solo trombone jazz project, discovering an intimate connectivity that was unveiled for him playing the instrument in this environment.
Pierre is a multi-instrumentalist across many different genres. His training on trombone was in classical and jazz idioms and this has expanded to many contemporary genres. He is one of the founding members of MSC Big Band, combining Manchester night life with a 25 piece live band. He has played in numerous small jazz groups too. He also enjoys performing at Indian weddings across the UK with Desi District, and from learning Klezmer at the University of Manchester now participates regularly, playing across Manchester. He is currently writing a collaborative Balkan-Klez ensemble project with Richard Fay.
In 2020, Pierre set up the Contemporary Arts Jazz Ensemble (CAJE) with the goal of commissioning emerging composers to write new jazz works with a focus on providing opportunity to female and BAME artists. They ran their first project successfully during the Covid-19 pandemic and are in the planning stages for the following project. For further information, please visit here.
In 2021, Pierre worked as a musical director with Bolton-based theatre company Ordinary Glory on a new verbatim stage show called Joy Unspeakable. He was also selected by Psappha for their Composing For scheme and is writing a new work for the Hardanger fiddle. He is also an arranger for The Untold Orchestra.
Pierre has much experience as an educator. He is available for private tuition in composition, trombone, piano, production and theory. He teaches with Stockport Music Service and he also leads composition and improvisation workshops for all age and skill levels, specialising in growing less commonly taught areas, such as contemporary composition, composition in media and music production. He is also a contributor for bi-annual award-winning PORT magazine for reviews, features and editorials.