Anthony Braxton Residency at the University of Alabama

Anthony Braxton playing a contrabass saxophone
Anthony Braxton playing a contrabass saxophone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Sonic Frontiers:

Anthony Braxton @ Alabama, Feb. 18-25, 2015

Anthony Braxton “Falling River Music” art exhibit of Braxton’s graphic music scores
Feb. 6th – 27th, ongoing
University of Alabama Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

This art exhibit running throughout the month of February showcases Anthony Braxton’s unique “Falling River Music” graphic music scores.

Braxton writes, “Falling River Musics is the name of a new structural prototype class of compositions in my music system that will seek to explore image logic construct ‘paintings’ as the score’s extract music notation.” Falling River scores consist of large, colorful drawings (reminiscent of the titles of Braxton’s earlier compositions) alongside other notational symbols.

Braxton refuses to assign any specific meanings to the notations of his Falling River scores, since part of their purpose is to allow each performer to find her own way through them. He explains, “I am particularly interested in this direction as a means to balance the demands of traditional notation interpretation and esoteric inter-targeting.”

“Falling River Music” Exhibit Opening Reception
Friday 2/6 6-9pm
University of Alabama Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

This reception will include performances of Braxton “Falling River Music” scores by UA faculty and students. Featuring UA faculty members Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone), Tim Feeney (percussion), Holland Hopson (electronics), and others TBA.

Anthony Braxton, Solo Saxophone
Wednesday 2/18 7:30pm
The Historic Bama Theatre
600 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35401

Braxton will present the singular solo saxophone music he has been developing for nearly fifty years. Mr. Braxton was the first musician to release a full album of unaccompanied saxophone music with his 1970 double-LP “For Alto.”

The University of Alabama Percussion Ensemble & Jazz Orchestra Play Braxton
Thursday 2/19 7:30pm
Moody Music Hall, UA School of Music
810 Second Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35487

UA percussion ensemble + UA jazz orchestra perform Braxton compositions #135, 100, 58, 59 and 174.

Anthony Braxton Quartet + Falling River Music Septet (world premiere)
Friday 2/20 7:30pm
Moody Music Hall, UA School of Music
810 Second Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35487

Anthony Braxton Quartet (world premiere): Anthony Braxton (reeds), Davey Williams (guitar), LaDonna Smith (viola), and a special guest TBA (drums)

Falling River Music Septet: Anthony Braxton (reeds), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone), Tim Feeney (percussion) Mary Halvorson (guitar), Holland Hopson (electronics), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds).

Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Music Quintet + Trillium Opera Excerpts
Saturday 2/21 7:30pm
Moody Music Hall, UA School of Music
810 Second Ave, Tuscaloosa AL 35487

Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Music Quintet: Braxton (reeds, electronics), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds), Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone)

With his Diamond Curtain Wall Music, Anthony Braxton combines intuitive improvisation with interactive electronics. The musicians in the ensemble respond both to the evocative graphic notation of his Falling River Music, and the unique and responsive electronic patches the composer designed using the SuperCollider programming software. Recent recordings of Diamond Curtain Wall Music include Trio (Victoriaville) 2007 (Victo) and Quartet (Moscow) 2008(Leo).

Anthony Braxton Trillium Opera excerpts, featuring vocalists Roland Burks, Christopher DiMeglio, Kyoko Kitamura, Anne Rhodes (voices), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Mary Halvorson (guitar), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds), Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone).

Braxton describes The Trillium Project as an opera complex of autonomous one-act settings interconnected through twelve recurring character archetypes that illustrate the basic components of his logic system, represented both by the twelve singers and by the same number of improvising instrumental soloists. Each act occurs within a specific dramatic context, but there is no overarching narrative structure; rather, the interest is in how the characters interact within the parameters of a given situation. (These situations range from a corporate board meeting to interplanetary space travel.) Braxton does not shy away from the melodramatic potential of traditional opera: there are swordfights and chases, giants and plagues. However, the “apparent story” is just one of three levels; underlying each act are the “philosophical” and “mystical” dynamics that so deeply inform Braxton’s libretto and music.

Anthony Braxton Falling River Music Trio
Monday 2/23 7pm
University of Alabama Gallery @ The Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center
620 Greensboro Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Falling River Music Trio: Anthony Braxton (reeds), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Kyoko Kitamura (voice)

Anthony Braxton Pinetop Aerial Music
Wednesday 2/25 7:30pm
Morgan Auditorium, Stadium Drive, University of Alabama Campus

Braxton’s newest music system for music and movement, featuring: Anthony Braxton (reeds), Taylor Ho Bynum (brass), Ingrid Laubrock (reeds), Andrew Raffo Dewar (reeds), Anne Rhodes (voice), Melanie Maar (movement), Rachel Bernsen (movement), plus UA student dancers TBA.