AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XVII

Headshot Anthony Braxton courtesy of the artistWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

We begin this week’s installment with a short excerpt from one of Anthony Braxton’s  current ensembles, The Anthony Braxton Standard Quartet – Live at Schlachthof, Wels, Austria.

Here is a short but very interesting Braxton interview from 1971 on KPFA produced by Other Minds. This audio interview is interspersed with his solo saxophone and at times Braxton sounds a bit defensive, but as always, he is very interesting.

This week’s installment ends with a full set from 2003 at the Kanjiža Jazz Festival in Serbia.  Anthony Braxton is joined by Hungarian pianist György Szabados and Ganelin trio drummer Vladimir Tarasov. It’s a beautiful set!

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Chris De Chiara

From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today

upic_cover_september2019In the late 70s, an interdisciplinary team led by the composer Iannis Xenakis developed the compositional tool UPIC out of an effort to transform drawings into synthesized sound.

Together with the Centre Iannis Xenakis, the ZKM is now addressing for the first time the genesis of this unique computational instrument and traces its technical, social, institutional, and educational significance up to the current practice of contemporary composers who work with the idea of UPIC in current computer programs.

The volume with 27 richly illustrated contributions is published by Hatje Cantz. It is available both there and through the ZKM Bookshop as a print publication. In addition, it is published in its entirety as an open access version and available free of charge. On this page, the digital version is available for download as PDF, as well as audio samples and additional archive material not included in the print publication are accessible.

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XVI

Headshot Anthony Braxton courtesy of the artistWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

We begin this week with the Ensemble Dal Niente performing some of Anthony Braxton’s works inspired by Native American musics. The “Ghost Trance Music” – Composition Nos. 193 + 228.

Here is a 2014 interview that was part of WKCR’s coverage of the 2014 TriCentric Festival, centered around the premiere of Braxton’s opera, Trillium J. Braxton dives deep in describing the work. He also explains some of the background on his development of the Ghost Trance Musics. We also occasionally hear from collaborator and TriCentric Executive Director Kyoko Kitamura.

Anthony Braxton in the recording studio with Brandon Evans  recording Evans’s composition “Elliptical Axis 15”,  at Wesleyan University in 2000.  They both perform on a wide array of wind instruments and I believe the entire recording session was videotaped and can be seen on YouTube.

If you have not already read “Forces in Motion” then perhaps this wonderful article by Hank Shteamer will convince you to do so!  Anthony Braxton’s Big Ideas: Why ‘Forces in Motion’ Is an Essential American Music Book .

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Chris De Chiara

 

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XV

Headshot Anthony Braxton courtesy of the artistWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews, and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

This week begins with teenage students in New York from the Face The Music program at the Kaufman Music Center performing Composition no. 69b + 108b by Anthony Braxton. They do a great job!

This Anthony Braxton interview is from 2004 by Taran Singh for his Taran’s Free Jazz Hour. Braxton discusses the complexities and challenges of creativity in the current time period.  He also discusses politics, the AACM, world music, his work, “Lucy” and much more. Taran confesses that on his very first listen to a Braxton recording, that he didn’t like it and while Braxton has discussed his initial negative reactions to music he now loves, he takes the opportunity to discuss what he believes is a “normal reaction” making this a great listen.

We close this week’s post with the official trailer for Anthony Braxton’s opera Trillium J.

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Chris De Chiara

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75 : Part XIV

Headshot Anthony Braxton courtesy of the artistWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews, and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

We begin this week with Anthony Braxton in a spirited solo alto saxophone performance from 2017 at Fringe Arts, October Revolution in Philadelphia.

Here is a wonderful trio performance of Anthony Braxton with George Lewis on trombone and Mark Dresser on bass from Antwerpen in 1985 at Jazz Middleheim. While Braxton always forges deep musical connections with his collaborators, his work with George Lewis is very special as they seem to always be connected in ways that few musicians ever are.

We conclude this weeks post with an interview that Nate Wooley did with Anthony Braxton for BOMB in 2014. The interview was done just prior to the world premieres of Braxton’s “Trillium” opera. Braxton’s excitement leaps off the page. He also admits to watching ancient aliens. Me too.

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Chris De Chiara

 

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XIII

e72b1213374b63d74f500ddefea1fafa--jazz-artists-jazz-musiciansWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

This post begins with an Anthony Braxton interview from 1997 at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. If you have been following this series and have read and listened to the interviews you may have noticed that Braxton is very consistent in his answers to some of the same interview questions he has received over and over again. But with each answer he sheds a little more light on what is at the heart of his work , his relationship to various traditions and his hope for what lies ahead.

A short excerpt from a London concert in 2007 by Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton.

The last entry this week features a full set from the Anthony Braxton ZIM Sextet + live at the Moers Festival in 2017.  The ensemble was Ingrid Laubrock – reeds,  Taylor Ho Bynum – brass, Shelley Burgon – harp, Jaqueline Kerrod – harp, Tomeka Reid – cello, Dan Peck – tuba and of course Anthony Braxton – reeds. Enjoy!

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Chris De Chiara

RIP Jim Nickels of Blitzoids

90055769_3158446434189687_2643056946210406400_nOn March 18 Jim Nickels of the trio Blitzoids passed away in his sleep.

The Blitzoids were a Chicago area based trio (Steve De Chiara, Jim Nickels, Chris De Chiara) that delivered two albums of anarchic collages of found sounds, instrumental jams and pseudo-songs that could border both on dadaistic cacophony and on parodistic genre-bending. The albums were reissued in 2006 on ReR.

Jim will forever be missed.

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XII

e72b1213374b63d74f500ddefea1fafa--jazz-artists-jazz-musiciansWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

Anthony Braxton’s many awards include a 1981 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 1994 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a 2014 NEA Jazz Master Award, and honorary doctorates from Université de Liège (Belgium), New England Conservatory (USA) and the 2020 United States Artists Fellowship. Here is a short interview from 2014  for his NEA Jazz Masters Award.

Anthony Braxton’s  Diamond Curtain Wall Music is a combination of graphic notation, improvisation, and interactive electronics.  This particular sextet performance from 2015 includes many of his mainstays including: Taylor Ho Bynum -brass, Mary Halvorson – guitar, Ingrid Laubrock – reeds, Andrew Raffo Dewar – soprano saxophone and Carl Testa – bass. The recording is a bit low and boomy so give it a little volume.

One of the the web’s best magazine-style resources for creative music is Sound American.  Its issue archive is a wonderful resource. Sound American 16: The Anthony Braxton Issue contains articles on Braxton written by many of his collaborators including: Taylor Ho Bynum, Nate Wooley, Kyoko Kitamura, Anne Rhodes, Katherine Young, Carl Testa, Erica Dicker, and Graham Lock. The archive can be a little slow to load, so be patient because the articles are well worth the wait.

We end this week’s post with a short excerpt of a lyrical alto saxophone solo from 2012 at Amuz, in Antwerpen.

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Chris De Chiara

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part XI

e72b1213374b63d74f500ddefea1fafa--jazz-artists-jazz-musiciansWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

This is an audio-only telephone interview from 1996 for Harvard radio station WHRB. The interviewer, Eric Plaks, asks interesting questions that Braxton is excited to answer. Braxton gives long detailed answers that shed lots of light on multiple aspects of his work making this an essential listen for the friendly experiencer.

The Anthony Braxton Quartet performing two compositions in 1981 in Hamburg. The quartet was Anthony Braxton – Saxophones, Ray Anderson – Trombone, Hugh Ragin –  Trumpet, and Marilyn Crispell – Piano. The concert ends with a wonderful short solo encore from Braxton.

The famous Composition No. 19 for 100 Tubas by Anthony Braxton. Performed at the Blanton Museum of Art in 2013.  The sound and video varies as the ensemble and conductors move about the museum and its campus, but all in all this is a must-hear!

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Chris De Chiara

 

AMN Celebrates Braxton 75: Part X

e72b1213374b63d74f500ddefea1fafa--jazz-artists-jazz-musiciansWelcome to AMN Celebrates Braxton 75, a multipart series focused on the work of American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. Braxton, who in 2020 will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday, is one of the most important and influential creative minds of the past fifty years. Each week this series will feature three to four links of live performances, interviews and articles found on the web that should be of interest to both the curious and the longtime explorers of Braxton’s music.

An intense 70 minute live performance of Anthony Braxton’s Composition 355 at the Venice Biennale Musica in 2012 by the Anthony Braxton 12+1Tet.

An Anthony Braxton interview by Ken Weiss from Jazz Inside Magazine in 2010. This is a great read where Braxton reflects deeply on topics from musical identity to music history to his work over the last forty years. As a bonus, it also includes an interview with Gerry Hemingway on Braxton’s music.

This week’s final link is a great audio-only performance of the Anthony Braxton Trio live at the Immanuel Chapel, Boston in 1982. The trio was with Dave Holland – bass and Marilyn Crispell on piano.

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Chris De Chiara