Picture: Alex Paxton by Elischa Kaminer
Picture: Alex Paxton by Elischa Kaminer

Alex Paxton

Alex Paxton is a composer & improvising-trombonist based in the UK. “A riotous overabundance of love and rage..an extraordinary experience” The Wire . 9th International Composition Seminar with Ensemble Modern, won an Ivor Novello Award, RPS Prize, Dankworth Jazz Prize, Leverhume Art Prize. Commissioned contributor to John Zorn’s Arcana X 2021. His albums to date: MUSIC for BOSCH PEOPLE and iLOLLI-POP. released to critical acclaim in 2021/2022. upcoming realises include HAPPY MUSIC for ORCHESTRA “This is the most joyous sound I’ve heard in ages”New York Times

He has performed has written for leading orchestras: London Symphony Orchestra Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra , Royal National Scottish Orchestra FAskSchöenberg, Ensemble Klang, Riot Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain, Wigmore Hall, Explore ensemble, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Kammer Klang, BSO, Psappa, BBCproms, NYO and NYJO.

Paxton is playing a new commission work with the Riot Ensemble at this years MaerzMusik festival.

“Paxton is a system-crasher of genre, stylish wit and sophistication and extremely entertaining…virtuouso ad absurdum.” Musikderzeit Schott.


1. “Kids make collage, housewives make collage, even if it’s just birthday cards. It is a democratic art” Wangechi Mutu

2. “Ah music, a magic far greater than any we do here.” Albus Dumbledore

3. “CARL kisses him.
He makes love to ROD
ROD: I will always love you.
I will never lie to you
I will never betray you.
On my life.
(They both come.)
TINKER: You or him, Rod, what’s it to be?
ROD: Me. Not Carl. Me.
TINKER Cuts ROD’s throat.
CARL struggles to get ROD. He is held.
ROD: It can’t be this.
(he dies)
TINKER: Burn him.”
– Sarah Kane, Cleansed, Complete plays p.142. by Methuen Publishing 2001


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?

All other music that I have heard ever.
The lived experience of making music with humans and human children.
The lived experience of eating.

2. How and when did you get into making music?

1990 – Experience of living amongst humans and listening to the music of their speech.
Lullabys I expect. Hearing music made by humans and wanting to be a part of it. Playin’ stuff on piano (lucky to have one isnt it).

1998 – Joined brass Brass band and learned to play trombone (in that order i think). Learned to play creatively in a church band.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

ooo tricky… i’ll compromise and give you 13. In no order.

Afar Ways Yanna Momina
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Lauren Sarah Hayes Embrace
Street and Gangland Rhythms, Beats and Improvisations by Six Boys in Trouble
Philosophy of the world, the Shaggs
Plexure John Oswald
Dancing in Your Head Ornette Coleman
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads Volumes 1-3. Ewan Macoll
New Jazz Jungle: Remembering by Pat Thomas
Black Diamond Express To Hell. Rev. A.W. Nix and his congregation
Passion Pestilence and Polyphony. Miscordia
Jelly Roll Morton – Blackbottom Stomp
Wycliffe Gordon – In the Cross
Secret Life of Plants. by Steve Wonder
New Songs of the Humpback Whale
George Lewis’ Rainbow Family

somin’ like that anyway

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

Happy yellow trains.
Most people wear black boots.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

The room in my flat where i write music, compose, and record music and eat food.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?

I would be a Bowhead Whale.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?

by Dewa Alit & Gamelan Salukat

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Singers: Richard Dawson,
Writers: N.K Jeminsen, Micheal Rosen (UK poet),
Artist: Jadé Fadojutimi, Ody Saban, Phillip Colbert,
Improvisers: Sofia Jernberg, Merzbow.

Dead: Kid Ory, Terry Pratchet, Octavia Butler, Hilary Mantel, Hieronymus Bosch, Kieth Herring

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

Performer – Music for Bosch People Album launch. Cafe Oto 9th August 2022. London
Spectator – Steve Beresford Hans Bennick. Cafe Oto…a fair few years ago

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Like computers and stuff?…yeah they are important. Trombone is technology too…thats important too…ill use anything really…i dont mind.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?

Yes i do.
I don’t know.