Mixing Modern Architecture, Design and Modern Music: Guillermo Gregorio

Many musicians today also work or have worked as academics, but Argentinean-born clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio, 78, is one of the very few whose teaching career encompasses theories of architecture and design. Growing up during one of Argentina’s periodic dictatorships, the Buenos Aires-born Gregorio divided his time between his experiments in contemporary music and improvisation and his studies and later teaching career at the universities of Buenos Aires and La Plata, as he tells Point of Departure’s Jason Weiss. Since any sort of non-conformity was suspect at that time, despite his interest in the music of Ornette Coleman; seeing soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy’s famous Buenos Aires quartet concert; and regularly playing the music of local avant-garde composer Juan Carlos Paz and others, he concentrated on keeping his university job. After he left the country, and finally settled in Chicago, where he taught at Columbia College and the Art Institute of Chicago until 2015, he began playing seriously again. His association with figures like Austrian trumpeter Franz Koglmann and Americans such as pianist Pandelis Karayorgis and violist Mat Maneri eventually led to the recording of his own music and interpretations of works by Cornelius Cardew, Red Norvo and Anthony Braxton.