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Emergency Music - Brazelton- Chamber Music For The Inner Ear

Release Date: 04/16/2002 
Label:  Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog #: 889   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kitty Brazelton
Performer:  Kevin CobbGreg EvansMichael SeltzerStephen Foreman,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Brass QuintetCalifornia EAR Unit
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Kitty Brazelton is a consummate New York composer, and it shows in these five pieces. Like the city itself, her music is big and brash yet conscious of its coolness in a way that's endearing, not annoying. Unlikely combinations of cultures and styles are crammed into small spaces. Sometimes these elements interact; sometimes they tense up and skitter away from each other, as nervously as strangers brush up against each other on a crowded train. Her music's moods are by turns ebullient and funny or darkly reflective, even wistful. Occasionally the settings are distinctly uptown, but downtown's raucous self emerges more frequently. In her varied musical career, Brazelton has played in punk bands, de- and re-constructed Hildegard von Bingen, Read more and written an opera whose plot involves extraterrestrials. She identifies herself as a totalist composer--nothing's off-limits.

So it's no surprise that her music covers a terrific sonic span and yet still has a uniquely identifiable voice. CRI's sound is unfortunately on the dry side, but not so as to prevent enjoyment of the musical fireworks on offer. Come Spring!, written for the Manhattan Brass Quintet (which reprises its performance here), references stride piano, Stax Records, Aaron Copland, and Miles Davis. The MBQ punches out Brazelton's syncopations with verve, but for the lyrical sections, including the gorgeous third movement, the playing really sings. R features a rhythm section of percussive guitar, acoustic bass, and bongos set against a 5-string violin and Brazelton's own astringent voice.

Sonar Como Una Tromba Larga ("To Sound Like a Great Waterspout") for trombone and tape takes full advantage of gifted trombonist Chris Washburne's knifesharp articulation and lovely lyricism. Called Out Ol' Texas pairs an intriguing combination of two sultry-voiced instruments, the alto sax (Danny Weiss) and cello (played by Dan Barrett). The piece relies on what fellow composer Butch Morris calls "comprov": the score, reproduced here, offers four visual icons on which the musicians should base their performances. (One, for example, is simply a circle bisected by a ray shooting through.) As with Come Spring!, Sonata for the Inner Ear is played by the ensemble for which it was written. In this case it's the California EAR Unit that makes its way through a score that connects wholly improvised sections with notated parts. As with all the other performances here, these musicians bring to Brazelton both technical expertise and an organic understanding of her compositional ideas. It's an incredibly invigorating disc, and definitely one to seek out.
--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Come Spring! by Kitty Brazelton
Performer:  Kevin Cobb (Trumpet), Greg Evans (French Horn), Michael Seltzer (Trombone),
Stephen Foreman (Tuba), Wayne J. Du Maine (Trumpet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Brass Quintet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1996; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1998 
Venue:  Sorceror Sound, New York City 
Length: 24 Minutes 25 Secs. 
R by Kitty Brazelton
Performer:  Lyris Hung (Electric Violin), Jay Kauffman (Guitar), Danny Tunick (Bongos),
Mat Fieldes (Double Bass), Kitty Brazelton (Voice)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989/1998; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/1998 
Venue:  Mastersound Studios, Astoria, NY 
Length: 6 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Sonar como una tromba larga by Kitty Brazelton
Performer:  Christopher Washburn (Trombone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1998; USA 
Date of Recording: 08/2001 
Venue:  Joe Music, New York City 
Length: 10 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: This performance utilizes a pre-recorded tape. 
Called Out Ol' Texas by Kitty Brazelton
Performer:  Danny Weiss (Alto Saxophone), Dan Barrett (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/1994 
Venue:  Live  Roulette Intermedium, New York City 
Length: 7 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Sonata for the Inner Ear by Kitty Brazelton
Performer:  Vicki Ray (Sampler), Vicki Ray (Electric Organ), Vicki Ray (Piano),
Marty Walker (Bass Clarinet), Dorothy Stone (Flute), Robin Lorentz (Violin),
Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (Cello), Amy Knoles (Drum Set), John Magnussen (Marimba)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  California EAR Unit
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/2001 
Venue:  Scott Fraser Studio, Glendale, CA 
Length: 23 Minutes 18 Secs. 

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