Photo: Rachel Holland
Glenn Poorman is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and recording artist from the
Detroit area. Currently he performs and records as a soloist but over the years
he has also performed and recorded with Coup Detroit
, and his own studio project 121normal
. Glenn's primary live
instrument is the Chapman Stick
but he also performs on acoustic guitar
and uses live loops. Glenn is also a part time faculty member at the nationally
renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts
in northern Michigan and the
artistic director of the biennial Interlochen Stick Workshop
Glenn's musical journey began on the piano in his parent's basement. The youngest
of three, Glenn began playing as soon as he was tall enough to reach the keys.
In 1971, he entered his home town school music program as a saxophone student
studying both classical and jazz. During the summers of 77, 78, and 79, Glenn
continued his music studies at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.
In college, Glenn attended Eastern Michigan University
where he majored
in music. His main instrument was still the saxophone and he performed regularly
with the E.M.U. Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble. Glenn also took on elective study
of piano and violin. It was his roommate's guitar that really caught his
attention though and Glenn began spending all of his wakings hours outside of
school practicing the guitar.
As a guitarist, Glenn became involved in some local garage bands and then in
1982, he found a vehicle for his own music when he joined Conditioned Response
as the lead guitarist and song writer. The group was formed by bassist Larry
Cepuran and included Tom Demerly on drums as well as singer and guitarist Amy
Griffiths who contributed the bulk of the lyrics. The band spent two years
playing all over the greater Detroit area and released a three song self-titled
EP before disbanding in 1984.
During the Conditioned Response years, Glenn also built the first of many home
studios and began writing and recording music projects independent of the band.
Between 1986 and 1991, he put all of his focus into these projects. Without the
constraints of writing for a performing band, Glenn's music took on a more
experimental tone and he began finding as much inspiration in movie scores as he
did in songs.
In 1992, Glenn was approached by guitarist Dan Holmes and frontman Mark Leahy
to record and produce a demo for their new band Coup Detroit
. After the
demo was completed, Glenn became a permanent member of the band doubling on
guitar and keyboards. Coup Detroit performed all over southeast Michigan from
1992 through 2011. With a revolving door of members, founder Holmes and Glenn
were the only consistent members and Glenn moved from guitar to bass and then
to the Chapman Stick in 1999.
Glenn felt like he'd really found the ideal instrument for his original music in
the Stick and began performing as a solo artist in 2000. Over the next few years,
he resurrected his home studio projects and began revisiting some of the music
he was recording during the 80s and 90s. Now playing much of the music on the
Stick, he began working some of the material into his solo repertoire with the
help of modern day looping devices and drum machines. In 2004, Glenn completely
rebuilt his home studio using a new computer based setup and began working on
his first official release naming the project 121normal
after the location
of his first studio. In the summer of 2007, the project's first self-titled CD
Since taking up the Stick in 1999, Glenn has been fortunate enough to study with
some of the best players in the world including Greg Howard, Bob Culbertson, Jim
Lampi, Steve Adelson, and the instrument creator Emmett Chapman. In more recent
years, Glenn has added some guitar music to his solo repertoire focusing on
fingerstyle acoustic and taking workshops with some world class players including
Laurence Juber, Billy McLaughlin, Muriel Anderson, Thom Bresh, and Don Ross.
Today Glenn continues to divide his time between the Stick, the guitar, and the
piano and he also loves to work with both hardware and software synthesizers.
He continues to work with the 121normal
project and still performs live
as a solo artist. His music has been played on local radio and has been featured
in independent film. He still considers himself, first and foremost, a student