Mementos from Blechtrommel's rendezvous with Ryoanji, John Cage's tribute to the beauty of Ryōan-ji's rock garden in Kyoto. Abutting Cage's own ruminatory work are Winston's and Pacheco's own refractions of Cage's " 'garden' of sounds "

As Cage might have said, musical sound speaks best for itself.
                                         He(a)r(e), an experimental garden of sounds:

João Carlos Pacheco (*1988) is a Portuguese percussionist, composer, and a dedicated proponent of multidisciplinary performance.

João Carlos has specialized himself in the field of contemporary music and has worked with composers such as Simon Steen- Andersen, Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, Erik Oña, Francesco Filidei, Andreas E. Frank, Kaj Duncan David, Gary Berger, Vinko Globokar, Phillipe Manoury, Ulrich Krieger, Peter Maxwell Davies, Vitor Rua, António Pinho Vargas, Emannuel Nunes, among others. Strongly dedicated to chamber music, he is very active in the European contemporary music scene. In recent years has kept himself busy as a member of Blechtrommel duo, TAL Trio, Ensemble of Nomads, Ensemble Lunaire, Ensemble Inverspace and Ensemble Phoenix Basel. Besides his work in these formations, he also develops solo projects and works regularly as a guest with many different groups. He has collaborated on the creation and performance of multidisciplinary works with institutions such as the Lucerne Festival, ZeitRäume Bienal, Theater Basel and Staatsoper Hamburg. 

João Carlos studied in Espinho, Porto, Lisboa and Basel. His teachers included Pedro Carneiro, Miquel Bernat, Christian Dierstein and Erik Oña.

He is currently based in Basel, Switzerland.


A garden of sounds should be experienced, should be a sensual engagement. Cage's music requests that one leave behind time and imagine a different way to wander, rather more spatially than chronologically, along the unpredictable paths that emerge in the peaks and valleys of organized and unorganized sound. Blechtrommel's companion pieces aim to explore this same plane of experience. We have struck out into the terrain surrounding Cage's Ryoanji and have attempted to entangle ourselves and our listeners with the topographic features of new gardens of sounds, those that exist adjacent to Ryoanji, alongside it, perhaps within it, underneath it, or even hovering above it.

These musical tableaux are meant to be sensed, felt, heard, until they distill themselves through the slow filtration of sound waves dissipating into the world around and disappearing down the rabbitholes of human perception--all ears and bones and veins and synapses. Inasmuch as these pieces request patience and spectatorial entanglement, the members of Blechtrommel are also aware that music does not exist alone in a concert hall, and as such, are active in exploring the ripples and resonances that their music has in other environments: educational, curatorial, diversional, etc. As part of these efforts to remain in dialogue with the contexts in which their concerts are situated, both Pacheco and Winston are actively and continually engaged in research situating their experimental auditory practice alongside theoretical interrogations of the very same. Inasmuch as these ruminations may be either or both completely ancillary or directly relevant, please feel free to also peruse these few pieces of writing that have emerged through Blechtrommel's long journey to this project. Pacheco's ruminations on the preparation of Cage scores was written following a research study on musical interpretation through the Darmstadt Summer Courses and the Musikakademie der Stadt Basel, in which both members of the duo participated. Pacheco's realization of Cage's Variations I and his subsequent theoretical reflections prompted the gestation of the current Ryoanji Reinterpreted project, which Winston then filtered through his own research on the materiality and materialization of sound. These essays reflect a portion of their joint and respective research endeavors as well as their commitment to exploring not only the sensory but also the intellectual and theoretical dimensions of their music.

Ryoanji Reinterpreted

Please, take your time, listen, imbibe, skip, return, repeat, wallow...

                                                                  (and, for best effects, turn up your headphones)

American trombonist Juna Winston performs regularly throughout central Europe, and specializes in the performance of contemporary and experimental music.  In 2013 he moved to Switzerland to work with Mike Svoboda at the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel.  Since then he has performed regularly as a freelance trombonist with Klangforum Wien and Collegium Novum Zürich, where he is a member.

He collaborates frequently with young composers and has premiered many pieces.  He is committed to the exploration of new techniques and media in the language of contemporary trombone, and develops these ideas in solo, multimedia, and improvisation settings.

Juna Winston has also worked as a brass instrument maker.  He apprenticed with George McCracken in Barhamsville, Virginia, and also worked for the S.E. Shires Company in Boston. He has built and repaired all manner of brass instruments and performs on a trombone of his own design and construction.

He studied in America at the University of Maryland, College Park, Bowling Green State University, and Boston University, and since 2014 has lived in Vienna. Since 2016 he is working towards a PhD from Leiden University through the docARTEs program of the Orpheus Institute in Ghent.