NYT – High School Musicians Take On the (Almost) Unplayable


Looks like some seriously talented young players

  • Anthony Braxton’s “Creative Orchestra Music 1976.”
  • was one of the Arista label’s most expensive productions
  • don’t expect to hear high schoolers performing music deemed unplayable by professionals … the Jazz Gallery near Madison Square Park in New York, three young ensembles from the Kaufman Music Center’s “Face the Music” program — featuring players between the ages of 12 and 18 …
    • the “big band” will present Composition No. 55, a showpiece from “Creative Orchestra Music 1976”
    • the “improvisation collective” will perform Composition No. 192 from Braxton’s “Ghost Trance Music”
    • the “advanced octet” will play Composition No. 69b, blended with Composition No. 108b
  • Braxton’s dictum that “all compositions in my music system can be executed at the same time/moment.”
  • joined in performance by four (adult) artists: vocalists Kyoko Kitamura and Anne Rhodes, the brass specialist Taylor Ho Bynum and the bassist Carl Testa
  • Braxton’s “language music” system for improvisation
    • a codelike series of line drawings rather than traditional notation … allows any single instrumentalist or conductor to select broad performance parameters, like staccato lines or wide-interval hops, then shape what emerges
    • 17-year-old electric bassist Maxwell Jensen-Moulton turned toward Ms. Kitamura and said, “I felt like I had so much power.”
  • Braxton said he intended “to become involved in the world of children and family-centered music” because “all of these matters are related to world change.”
    • “Braxton’s whole thing is, he lets other people be creators,”

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