When asked how many projects Lucas is currently involved in, he will be embarrassed. He didn't know if he could get them all together. Mobile phone entries help, so Lucas comes to the following, probably incomplete, list of bands where he is a permanent member:
- Jonas Winterhalter Bigband
- Sarah Chaksad Orchestra
- Lars Lindvall Bigband
- Joe Haider Jazz Orchestra
- Benjamin Knecht Orchestra
- Jonas Beck Jazz Orchestra
- Lukas Brügger Jazz Orchstra
- Spirado Posaunen-Quartett
- Janto’s Oktaeder
Own project: A trio with tuba, sax/vocals and guitar. On September 8th the band can be heard in the Grubenberg-Hütte in Bern.
He also regularly plays sub-gigs:
- Swiss Jazz Orchstra
- Pepe Lienhard
- Patrick Schnider Jazz Orchestra
Currently inactive projects:
- Janto’s Holding
- Lucerne Jazz Orchestra
That's quite a list!
Take pictures and get inspiration
We're talking about other hobbies. Photographing. Lucas prefers beautiful landscapes, where he also likes to retreat in summer to enjoy nature in the seclusion of a Ticino alp.
Privately, Lucas teaches 3 students on a regular and another 6 on a sporadic basis. Lucas does band coaching with an amateur band. He runs section rehearsals for amateur big bands.
Brass Instrument Making
Lucas has turned his hobby into his profession in two ways. A first time as a polymechanic and then as a musician. Polymechanic is Lucas' first education and describes a collective term for various disciplines of tool and small and component manufacturing by hand (soldering, form metal into a desired shape) and programmable machines (milling and turning machines). He currently works in a 24% workload as an instrument maker in the brass department of Blechblasinstrumentenbau Egger.
A special feature of this company is that they make historical instruments. In doing so, you are confronted with additional challenges. Material mixtures that were used for the instruments centuries ago are often no longer available today. Certain steps must not be carried out mechanically, as is customary today, but must be carried out manually.
Lucas Wirz: "There is always an X factor"
In addition to his highly accurate and precise way of working, Lucas is enthusiastic about the existence of the Factor X when working as an instrument maker. No matter how precise you work. At the end, there is still a factor X that cannot be grasped and that influences the sound of the instrument. The whole history of each instrument is reflected in its sound. If a metal plate was annealed 3 or 4 times to bend and tubularize. If the metal was shaped with much or little pressure. All this and other parameters of the manufacturing process are reflected in the sound. In an industrialized workflow, even metal plates are "blown" into the tube shape in a fraction of the time that would be required for this process by hand. The result: The instruments no longer sound as lively as their handmade relatives.
The way he works as a polymechanic is very much like that of a musician. Although Lucas has a high degree of accuracy and precision in the preparation when practicing and rehearsing the music, there are conditions at the concert that cannot be controlled. How does the audience behave?
On tour with a living legend
What it would be like to play in the band of a living legend - Joe Haider - I wanted to know. Very inspiring and instructive. Firstly because Joe Haider can tell stories and anecdotes for a whole journey from Zurich to Munich. On the other hand, because Joe Haider is able to "conjure up" musically very intense moments in the studio. There's factor X again. Joe Haider's rehearsals leave a lot open. So everybody can get involved and if the maestro can't make himself understood even after long discussions, it's also ok if the rest of the band takes their own initiative and regulates the unclear among themselves.
Long-time band mates
We talk about our time together in the Janto's Oktaeder and the predecessor project Janto's Holding. Lucas' strength is to understand new compositions and arrangements in a flash (sometimes even better than the composer). In this way, he can often give an impulse as to the direction in which a piece can be worked in. Lucas also captures the band dynamics in the sample and can put them into words if it is helpful.
Lucas greatly appreciates the wide range of activities. To pass on your handicraft. One area enriches the other and vice versa.