Exposé Online banner

Henry Brant — Collection 3
(Innova 410, 2005, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2006-05-01

Collection 3 Cover art

With many of the great modernist composers now quite advanced in age, it seems incredible that some people predating the movement might still be creating new works. The venerable Henry Brant (b. 1913) composes “acoustic spatial” music, often requiring multiple orchestra or ensembles positioned strategically around a hall, and never with amplification. Antiphonal music for multiple ensembles actually dates back to the Renaissance, so in a way Brant could be considered an ultra neo-classicist. Three compositions make up the latest Innova collection of works. “Wind, Water, Clouds & Fire” is 35-minutes long, performed principally by the Present Music Ensemble (whose Haunted America I reviewed for #29), along with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and four vocal ensembles. Many higher pitches are used here; exotic timbres like piccolo trumpet, an Eastern sort of exoticism, the mixing of tonal colors reminiscent of Ravel, soft chanting vocals as in a ritual. Something like George Crumb, or maybe Opus Avantra if you insist on a progressive connection. “Litany of Tides” features a large orchestra, small orchestra, solo violinist and four sopranos. The individual parts are more independent of each other in this piece, so that the listener can somehow choose what they experience by what they pay attention to; it’s a bit like John Cage’s “HPSCHD” in that respect. “Trinity of Spheres” uses the same strategy, but with three separately conducted orchestra. The orchestral writing brings to mind Ives, fitting for a composer continuing the American classical tradition solidly and without fanfare.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Henry Brant

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cathedral - Kingdom of Ends – Kingdom of Ends is the first CD by the Washington, DC based five-piece Cathedral. Their sound is firmly in the neo-progressive camp, perhaps more radio-ready than most. Their sound blends tried and...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues