7/4

Anthony Braxton

914 posts in this topic

Here's an upcoming gig schedule. AB is going to be racking up some frequent flyer miles.

I'm sure the first-ever performance of Composition #19 for 100 tubas is going to be a trip!

April:

29 - Anthony Braxton Trio - Sonorities Festival of Contemporary

Music - Dublin (Irland)

http://www.sonorities.org.uk

May:

12 - Anthony Braxton - Richard Teitelbaum - Angelica Festival -

Bologna (Italy)

http://www.aaa-angelica.com

13 - Anthony Braxton Trio - Fabbrica Europa - Firenze (Italy) option

http://www.fabbricaeuropa.com

June:

4 - Anthony Braxton' 100 Tuba Piece - Bang-on-a-Can Marathon - New

York City (USA)

Composition # 19 for 100 Tubas - World Financial Center Wintergarden

Hall - World Premiere

http://www.bangonacan.org

10 - Anthony Braxton' Ensemble Braxtonia - Kerava Jazz Festival

(Finland)

http://personal.inet.fi/yhdistys/keravajazz

18 - Anthony Braxton Sextet - Equator Festival - Singapore

(Singapore)

http://www.lasallesia.edu.sg

July:

15 - Anthony Braxton - Gyorgy Szabados - Vladimir Tarasov - Bang-on-

a-Can Marathon - Avignon (France)

http://www.festival-avignon.com

August:

12 - Anthony Braxton Twelvetet - Gulbenkian Foundation - Jezz em

Agosto - Lisboa (Portugal)

http://www.gulbenkian.pt

December:

1 - Anthony Braxton Trio - Audio Culture - Rotterdam (Holland)

http://www.lantaren-venster.nl

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June:

4 - Anthony Braxton' 100 Tuba Piece - Bang-on-a-Can Marathon - New

York City (USA)

Composition # 19 for 100 Tubas - World Financial Center Wintergarden

Hall - World Premiere

http://www.bangonacan.org

Mark S., does this show coincide with your trip to NYC? If yes, you have to attend and photograph it.

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Braxton, Anthony

Birthdate

6/4/1945!

Thanks for the great music Anthony!

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His birthday being today helps explain the 100 tubas thing a bit more.

I wonder how hard it is to get 100 jazz tubists to do a free show.

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A photo from the 100 Tubas event.

tuba2.jpg

Moe here...

4th photo down - Isn't that Scott Robinson? I know he's a man of many instruments, so I wouldn't be surprised at all.

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Don't know. I would like a shirt like that.

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The "gazillion tuba" mention reminds me of a little story. After we recorded Roscoe's "the Maze" at Columbia, a bunch of the guys (Braxton, Threadgill, Moye, Favors, etc) were talking about organizing a group to see the new film "the Swarm" (I think) about thousands of "killer bees" invading the US from the south. I said I heard they were all coming to the US for Braxton's next recording date and everybody cracked up 'cept Tony.

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The "gazillion tuba" mention reminds me of a little story. After we recorded Roscoe's "the Maze" at Columbia, a bunch of the guys (Braxton, Threadgill, Moye, Favors, etc) were talking about organizing a group to see the new film "the Swarm" (I think) about thousands of "killer bees" invading the US from the south. I said I heard they were all coming to the US for Braxton's next recording date and everybody cracked up 'cept Tony.

:lol:

Thanks Chuck, I love stories like that.

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The "gazillion tuba" mention reminds me of a little story. After we recorded Roscoe's "the Maze" at Columbia, a bunch of the guys (Braxton, Threadgill, Moye, Favors, etc) were talking about organizing a group to see the new film "the Swarm" (I think) about thousands of "killer bees" invading the US from the south. I said I heard they were all coming to the US for Braxton's next recording date and everybody cracked up 'cept Tony.

What did he say, if anything?

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Great story and joke, Chuck. :lol:

I remember when Braxton told the media that he was writing music to be played by several orchestras simultaneously on different planets. The scary thing is that he didn't seem to be joking. Does he do that as a deliberate attempt to stir controversy about the seriousness of his music?

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I remember when Braxton told the media that he was writing music to be played by several orchestras simultaneously on different planets. The scary thing is that he didn't seem to be joking. Does he do that as a deliberate attempt to stir controversy about the seriousness of his music?

You answered your own question elsewhere:

Rachmaninoff is proof that you don't have to make music "of your time" to make great music for all time.

Years ago people spoke about the possibility for musicians on different continents to collaborate in performance - a possibility which has become reality due to technological advances. So if Braxton has written music for orchestras on different planets, why should this be taken as a joke? (It should be kept in mind that space exploration has taken a different course since the last moon landing 30 years ago.) To the extent Braxton's tricentric system is focused on extending the traditions of human creativity, why would the notion of an interplanetary music (post-Ra) be "scary"? (Which is not to say there aren't elements of "fun" within Braxton's work.)

In other words, not all music has to be written on commission.

Edited by jasonguthartz

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Jason,

Thanks for your thoughtful remarks. Don't get me wrong. I am a Braxton fan, myself.

In this case, I don't really understand what musical advantage can be exploited by having musicians play simultaneously on different continents or planets (as opposed to bringing musicians from different places together to play in the same place). I guess that with different countries, you might argue that physical locatation in completely different cultural environments might change the mindset of the musicians, and thereby affect the nature of the musical interaction. But different planets? Why not just have people perform in space suits on earth? Is Braxton seriously contemplating the effects of different gravitational fields on the music? Well, I guess that is why they call him a genius. ;)

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In this case, I don't really understand what musical advantage can be exploited by having musicians play simultaneously on different continents or planets (as opposed to bringing musicians from different places together to play in the same place). I guess that with different countries, you might argue that physical locatation in completely different cultural environments might change the mindset of the musicians, and thereby affect the nature of the musical interaction. But different planets? Why not just have people perform in space suits on earth? Is Braxton seriously contemplating the effects of different gravitational fields on the music? Well, I guess that is why they call him a genius. ;)

Is Braxton contemplating the effect of different gravitational fields and atmospheres on those vibrations we perceive as "music"? Perhaps. But I think it's better to think about his restructuralist ambitions in terms of the positive forces associated with creative activities, in a holistic context which treats music as a part of (rather than apart from) everyday life experience. For Braxton, music is never just about sound-for-sound's sake.

Excuse the long excerpt below, but I think it can provide some insights.

After mentioning Stockhausen, Xenakis, Sun Ra, Sousa, Joplin, Brant, and Monteverdi in a discussion with Graham Lock about his multi-orchestral musics, Braxton says:

After the piece for ten orchestras, moving to the larger orchestra pieces, I envisioned TV systems, telecommunications, becoming part of the process of the music, to help transfer information from regions of the planet and create an alternative event context.

Lock: Where would the audience be? In a room watching TV screens, with each orchestra on a different screen?

Braxton: No, no - people would just be walking down the street, living their normal lives. By the time we get to planet level musics I'm not talking about going to the auditorium to hear music, I'm talking about sound being generated as part of the whole life experience.

Lock: So you'd just walk down the street and there it would be!

Braxton: Yeah, kinda like how it is right now (laughs).

Lock: Suppose you don't want to hear it? What do you do?

Braxton: Then you'd have to get out of the concert.

Lock: But how? (Laughs.) Where's the exit?

Braxton: Well, go to a planet where this is not happening (laughs). I mean, we're talking about projects which won't be realized tomorrow. By the time the information is developed to deal with that level, I'm sure there'll be, you know (sings) 'A planet for you, a planet for me'. I imagine, when we start talking about star systems linking to perform a piece... I'm sure the people who are the inhabitants will have to be in agreement or there'll be no concert.

Let me put this into perspective. What we're really talking about is the reality of forces and how given forces in space can create a context for existence. When we get to the galactic formings, etc., we're really talking about the concept of existence.

Lock: How can you even begin to plan these compositions? Surely the technology needed to perform them is almost unimaginable?

Braxton: In this period, yes. But, for instance, look at what human beings are doing on the planet right now: obviously we're not helping the state of the planet, in terms of the more adverse effects of present-day technological dynamics. What's wrong with the idea of establishing a universal composite information base that can help us better to sustain and appreciate physicality? With this information it might be possible to heal the planet - a music to heal deserts, say - because the planet is alive too. What about having a music that can help to prevent earthquakes, a music that can help establish physicality, a -

Lock: Help what?

Braxton: You know, music as a practical tool to help create planets and states of being, so, since we've made this planet unhealthy, we can go to another planet. Or, if we can heal this planet, we might still want to go to another planet just because it exists.

Lock: Are you researching these areas? Checking out what particular sounds can do?

Braxton: Right now, I'm just trying to get through this tour! *** I need information about physics, about science; I need to meet people who have specialized in those areas and work with them in larger projects, because some of what we're talking about - some being, like, ninety-nine percent - might be too much for one human being to think about doing by him- or herself. There is a need for groups who are concerned about the planet and the planet experience, what it could really be for human beings, and what a higher state of existence or evolution means in a practical sense.

These ideas might sound far-fetched, but they shouldn't. The inter-relationship of music to science has long been an understood fact in world culture; it's only in the West, where we've become so existential, so specialist, that we've forgotten about the whole.

[braxton talks about falling behind his schedule for these works]

Lock: It might be thought a little impractical to talk about plans for compositions that link star systems.

Braxton: No, I don't think it's impractical. It's impractical maybe to give the actual year (laughs). That's what I've learned.

Lock: So you still think it could happen?

Braxton: Oh, it's not a question of it could happen.

Lock: You're going to write those pieces?

Braxton: Of course I'm going to write the pieces. There are much bigger ideas than that!

Lock: Huh!?

Braxton: Are you kidding?

Lock: Such as?

Braxton: Oh no! (Laughs.)

Lock: Come on, let's hear one.

Braxton: I've said enough (laughs).

[Forces in Motion, pp. 207-211, with my emphasis in bold]

Braxton's 1978 liner notes to For Four Orchestras (Arista) provides this outline for his multi-orchestral pieces:

"Series A":

[1. For four Orchestras (Comp. 82)]

2. (For four* Orchestras and tape) to be completed next year [*revised to five orchestras per the above conversation with Lock];

3. (For six Orchestras) to be completed by the end of 1979;

4. (For ten Orchestras - at different spacial locations but connected by television) to be completed by 1982.

5. (For one hundred Orchestras - in four different cities, connected by satellites and television systems) to be completed by 1985.

"Series B":

1. (For three planets) to be completed by 1988.

2. (For five planets) to be completed by 1990.

3. (Between star systems) to be completed by 1995.

4. (Between Galaxies) to be completed by 2000.

5. (Between ---) to be completed after 2000.

(Plus there are twenty other series of additional "creative routes" in this group of works as well.)

In Blutopia, Lock quotes Braxton's description of the impact of hearing parade music as a child: "It is as if the whole of the universe were swallowed up - leaving us in a sea of music and color." Lock states that Braxton "hopes to effect this phenomenon literally," an ambition consistent with the notion that, "to paraphrase Sun Ra, the impossible is in the music, and the music is real."

With regard to the interplanetary musics, one can therefore imagine a situation where inhabitants of Earth would be able to look up to the night sky and hear "the music of the heavens" as played by 1000 orchestras on Mars, 10,000 string quartets on Venus, and a guy riding an asteroid playing a kazoo. :w

PS - During the "Braxton at 60" events at Wesleyan last year, Braxton was again asked about the status of these works; his response was that he was even further behind.

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The "gazillion tuba" mention reminds me of a little story. After we recorded Roscoe's "the Maze" at Columbia, a bunch of the guys (Braxton, Threadgill, Moye, Favors, etc) were talking about organizing a group to see the new film "the Swarm" (I think) about thousands of "killer bees" invading the US from the south. I said I heard they were all coming to the US for Braxton's next recording date and everybody cracked up 'cept Tony.

"The Swarm" was the last of the Irwin Allen produced blockbuster disaster series ("The Poseidon Adventure" was his first), and it pretty much tanked the subgenre for a few decades. I remember it being a horrible, atrocitious, abortion of a flick, and I really loved schlock back then.

I can picture a theater row with all these AACM guys, sitting, munching popcorn while Henry Fonda gets stung to death by the killer bees.

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Jason: I appreciate you posting that. Thanks.

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Long-range sensors have picked up an upcoming Leo Records release in September. It consists of four compositions from last year's Ulrichsberg concerts. My guess is it's from the big ensemble concert.

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Long-range sensors have picked up an upcoming Leo Records release in September. It consists of four compositions from last year's Ulrichsberg concerts. My guess is it's from the big ensemble concert.

Looks like it...scroll down here!

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The new set is out on Leo and it's a (what else) 4 CD set called 4 Compositions (Ulrichsberg) 2005 Phonomanie VIII. Includes a solo piano piece (301?), a trio piece and two performances with a 16-piece ensemble. Squinting at the picture of the cover I have, Comp. 96 is included.

By my count, this is Braxton's 8th 4-CD set!

In other news, the Downtown Music Gallery is listing the MIA Braxton Houses as "forthcoming":

Ghost Trance Festival (New York) 1997 10 CD set

Ensemble (Wesleyan) 1997 Composition No. 204

Ensemble (Wesleyan) 1997 Composition No. 205

Tentet (Den Haag) 1997

Ghost Trance Festival (Oakland) 1997 12 CD

The latter's inclusion is a bit odd, since half the set is already out on Leo.

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Here’s more info on the new 4-CD Ulrichsberg set from Leo. It’s a good set and includes a welcome (recorded) return to some older creative orchestra music chestnuts.

Disc 1 - Comp. 301 performed by Genevieve Foccroulle on piano

Disc 2 - 14-piece Austrian ensemble with three conductors (Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Aaron Siegel). Group starts with Comp. 96 and travels to Comp. 134 (previously heard on Eugene and the London Jazz Composers Orchestra discs) with some language improvisations, collages and Ghost Trance moments along the way. Braxton plays sax from time to time as well as conducting. Fantastic!

Disc 3 - Braxton, Bynum and Siegel perform a Diamond Curtain Wall piece with electronics. A little bit reminiscent of some of the stuff Braxton did with Richard Teitelbaum.

Disc 4 - Same idea as Disc 2, only this time Comps. 169 and 147 are the main pieces.

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Here’s more info on the new 4-CD Ulrichsberg set from Leo. It’s a good set and includes a welcome (recorded) return to some older creative orchestra music chestnuts.

Disc 1 - Comp. 301 performed by Genevieve Foccroulle on piano

Disc 2 - 14-piece Austrian ensemble with three conductors (Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Aaron Siegel). Group starts with Comp. 96 and travels to Comp. 134 (previously heard on Eugene and the London Jazz Composers Orchestra discs) with some language improvisations, collages and Ghost Trance moments along the way. Braxton plays sax from time to time as well as conducting. Fantastic!

Disc 3 - Braxton, Bynum and Siegel perform a Diamond Curtain Wall piece with electronics. A little bit reminiscent of some of the stuff Braxton did with Richard Teitelbaum.

Disc 4 - Same idea as Disc 2, only this time Comps. 169 and 147 are the main pieces.

I'm tempted, I should buy it.

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Been enjoying Braxton/Roach duo on hatOLOGY, "One in two-Two in one" this past weekend. An attentive listening of the interaction between the two players becomes a very rewarding experience!

:tup

This has been a long time favorite of mine (since I picked it up about 12 yrs ago on a whim)

Been listening to One in Two-Two in One today, and it is an amazing disk. I really like how Roach plays here, wonderful how Roach clings to the rhythm that Braxton creates and deepens it, and challenges Braxton to take it to the next step. Braxton sounds great, inventive without wasted notes. One of those disks that you cds never get tired of.

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Anyone see the talk on the Yahoo! Braxton list of a Braxton/Cecil duo?

The mind boggles. Can't really imagine how it would sound, but the thought alone is pretty astonishing!

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