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In Memoriam Earle Brown, by Orlando Garcia

Composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia's new CD features three orchestra works, including In Memoriam Earle Brown (2011), performed by the Malaga Philharmonic, conducted by Jose Serebrier. Download or preorder.




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A Life in Music

Earle Brown, a major force in contemporary music and a leading composer of the American avant-garde since the 1950s, died on July 2, 2002 at his home in Rye, New York. He was associated with the experimental composers John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Christian Wolff who, with Brown, came to be known as the New York School.

Earle Brown was born in 1926 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts and, in spirit, remained a New Englander throughout his life. Like other artists from that region – Ives, Ruggles, Dickinson – he spoke with his own voice and found his own path. To America, these artists were iconoclasts, but to Europe they embodied America – and Brown was no exception: his music has been most frequently performed, studied, lauded, and revered by Europeans. Brown’s interest in a broad range of aesthetic expressions, ranging from the writings of James Joyce and the poetry of Gertrude Stein, Kenneth Patchen, and others to the work of the Abstract Expressionist painters – and particularly Jackson Pollock and Alexander Calder – informed his own work. He said, as recently as in 2000, that “the earliest and still predominant influences on my conceptual attitude toward art were the works of Alexander Calder and Jackson Pollock...the integral but unpredictable ‘floating’ variations of a mobile, and the contextual ‘rightness’ of the results of Pollock’s directness and spontaneity in relation to the materials and his particular image of the work…as a total space (of time).”

Earle Brown’s influence on the avant-garde community has been philosophical as well as tangible and practical. His conducting techniques and experiments with “time notation,” improvisation, and open-form compositional structure have become part of contemporary compositional usage. Among Brown’s most frequently performed and reinterpreted works is DECEMBER 1952, the score of which is a stark, abstract series of floating rectangles – a musical equivalent to a Calder mobile. His early influential orchestral scores include Available Forms 1 and Available Forms 2, and his musical friendships were legendary, from Bruno Maderna who conducted first performances of many of Brown’s works to jazz musicians such as Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan.

Brown received many commissions, residencies, and awards, including a Guggenheim award; an honorary doctorate from the Peabody Conservatory of Music (1970) where he held the W. Alton Jones Chair of Music; and the John Cage Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, among others. Among his many residencies were those at the California Institute of the Arts, Yale University, the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals, the American Academy in Rome, and the Basel Conservatory of Music.

On November 20, 2002, The Museum of Modern Art hosted an homage to one of the great American composers of the twentieth century : In Memoriam: A Concert of Selected Works by Earle Brown. The program included works, selected by Brown in conversation with his wife Susan shortly before his death, that span his career: Music for Violin, Cello and Piano (1952); Corroboree (1964); New Piece (1971); Centering (1973); Tracking Pierrot (1992); and Special Events (1998).


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CHRONOLOGY

1926 Born Earle Appleton Brown Jr., December 26 in Lunenberg, MA
1940s Private studies in trumpet and big band performances in Massachusetts
1944-45 Attends Northeastern University in Boston and studies engineering and mathematics
1945-46 Enters Air Force at the end of World War II.  Plays trumpet in Army Air Force Band in Randolph Field, Texas (now Randolph Air Force Base).  Begins to study arranging with Hindemith's books on composition.
1946-50 Studies at Schillinger House School of Music in Boston (now Berklee College of Music).  Private study of Schillinger techniques during 1947-50 with Kenneth MacKillop; arranging and orchestration with Jesse Smith; counterpoint, form, and orchestration with Roslyn Brogue Henning.
Studies trumpet in Boston with Fred Berman
1949 Home Burial, for piano
1950 Receives certification as authorized instructor of Schillinger system
Moves to Denver with Carolyn Brown and teaches Schillinger techniques for two years
1951 Three Pieces for Piano
Enrolls at Colorado College Summer School to study with Arnold Schoenberg, who later cancels the session because of health problems.  Brown arranges to study with Schoenberg in Los Angeles that summer but Schoenberg dies before they meet.
Meets John Cage and Merce Cunningham in Denver
Meets David Tudor in Boulder
Visits New York City and meets Morton Feldman, Richard Lippold, Ray Johnson, Danny Stern, Herbert Matter and others through Cage and Tudor
1952 Music for Violin, Cello & Piano
Perspectives, for piano
David Tudor premieres Three Pieces for Piano (1951) on February 2 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, marking the New York premiere of Brown's music
Moves to New York City in August
Joins the Project for Music for Magnetic Tape (summer 1951 to spring 1953) organized by Cage and Tudor with sound engineers Louis and Bebe Barron
1952-54 Folio and 4 Systems, for variable instrumentation
1953 Twenty-Five Pages, for 1-25 pianos
Octet I, for eight loudspeakers
Octet I premieres at Festival of Contemporary Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, March 22 along with magnetic tape works by Cage and Wolff
Tudor performs Perspectives and Three Pieces for Piano at Black Mountain College, July 1953
1954 Indices, for chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Springweather and People)
Forgotten Piece, for solo or multiple pianos
Indices [Piano Reduction]
Octet II, for eight loudspeakers
Cage and Tudor perform works by Brown during their European concert tour, including Octet, 4 Systems, and Perspectives, October-November
1955 Music for Cello and Piano
1955-60 Recording engineer at Capitol Records
Occasionally attends Henry Cowell's 'Music of the Worlds Peoples' class at the New School for Social Research
1956 Four More, for solo or multiple pianos
First trip to Europe, December 1956 to February 1957, with travels to Paris, Baden-Baden, Milan, Vienna, Munich, Darmstadt, Cologne, Hamburg, and London; meets with Pierre Boulez, Heinrich Strobel, Hans Rosbaud, Bruno Maderna, Wolfgang Steinecke, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Otto Tomek, and William Glock.
1957 The Kind of Bird I Am, for orchestra (homage to Max Ernst, duration 20 seconds)
Organizes Varese Jazz Sessions
1958 Pentathis, for chamber ensemble, commissioned by Pierre Boulez and Domaine Musical
Second trip to Europe, which includes the premiere of Pentathis at Darmstadt conducted by Maderna, September 11
1959 Hodograph I, for chamber ensemble
1961-73 Producer of Contemporary Sound Series for Time / Mainstream Records in New York
1961 Available Forms I, for chamber orchestra, commissioned by the City of Darmstadt
1962 Available Forms II, for two orchestras, commissioned by Radio Orchestra of Rome; premiered in April at the Venice Biennale, conducted by Earle Brown and Bruno Maderna.
Novara, for chamber ensemble
1963 Times Five, for chamber ensemble, commissioned by Service de la Recherche, L'Office de Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise l'ORTF), Paris
From Here,
for chamber orchestra and optional chorus, commissioned but he Foundation for Contemporary Performing Arts
Sound of Void, sound sculpture collaboration with artist Vassilakis Takis in New York
Concert of works by Brown and Feldman at Town Hall, New York City, October 11, sponsored by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts established by Cage and Jasper Johns
1964 Corroboree, for three or two pianos, commissioned by Radio Bremen for Bremen Festival
Music for Galerie Stadler, installation for four identical tape loops, Paris
Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic give the U.S. premiere of Available Forms II, February 6
1964-65 Guest Composer/Lecturer, Darmstadt Summer Courses
1965-66 Guggenheim Fellowship
1965 Nine Rarebits, for one or two harpsichords, commissioned by Antoinette Vischer
String Quartet, commissioned by Südwestfunk Baden-Baden for Donaueschinger Musiktage
Lectures throughout the U.K. including York University, Royal College of Art, Goldsmith's, Chelsea School of Art, St. Martins, and the Cardiff School of Art.
1966 lecturer, Musikhochschule Köln, (Conservatory of Music, Cologne) filling in for Stockhausen
Module I, for orchestra, commissioned by L' Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Paris
Module II, for orchestra
Calder Piece, for four percussionists and mobile, commissioned by the Percussion Quartet of Paris
Guest composer-conductor at Primeras Jornados Americanas de Musica Experimental in Cordoba, Argentina
1967 Event: Synergy II, for chamber ensemble, commissioned by French Radio for Festival de Royan
Conducted De Kooning by Morton Feldman, 1.65 AL by Anestis Logothetis along with Novara, December 1952, and From Here at the Second Hellenic Week of Contemporary Music in Athens, Greece.
Lectured at Darmstadt Festival of New Music
1968 Guest Composer/Lecturer in composition, Tanglewood
1968-73 Composer-in-Residence, Peabody Institute Conservatory of Music
1969 Module III, for orchestra, commissioned by Festival de Zagreb
Small Pieces for Large Chorus
1970 Syntagm, III for chamber ensemble, commissioned by Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
Honorary Doctorate of Music, Peabody Conservatory
Featured Guest Composer/Conductor Contemporary Music Festival, St. Lawrence University
1970-71 Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (Künstlerprogramm)
Exterior Examiner, Doctorate Program, York University, England
1971 New Piece, for variable instrumentation
Featured Guest Composer/Conductor, Oberlin Conservatory Summer Festival and Institute
Composer-in-Residence/Conductor Aspen Music Festival
1972 Time Spans, for orchestra, commissioned by Hans Zender and the City of Kiel and premiered during the 1972 Munich Olympics
New Piece Loops, 
for orchestra and chorus, commissioned by Venice Biennale de Musica Internazionale Festival
Sign Sounds, for chamber orchestra, commissioned by SUNY Albany  
Featured Guest Composer/Lecturer/Conductor, Contemporary Music Festival, Capital University Conservatory of Music
Featured Guest Composer/Lecturer, State University of New York
Koussevitzky Music Foundation Award and Commission
American Academy & National Institute of Arts and Letters Award
1973 Centering, for solo violin and chamber ensemble, commissioned by London Sinfonietta for Paul Zukofsky
1974 Composer-in-Residence, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Conservatory
New York State Council on the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
1974-83 Composer-in-Residence, California Institute of the Arts
1975 Cross Sections and Color Fields, for orchestra, commissioned by the Denver Symphony and the Koussevitzky Foundation
Guest Professor, Basel Conservatory, Switzerland
Visiting Professor, SUNY Buffalo
Composer-in-Residence, Aspen Music Festival
Composer-in-Residence, Tanglewood
1976 Visiting Professor, University of California at Berkeley
1977 Visiting Professor, California Institute of the Arts
Brandeis University Creative Arts Award
1978 Visiting Professor, University of Southern California
1979 Wikiup, sound installation for six independent playing devices, commissioned by Independent Curators Incorporated.  Installed as a traveling exhibition " Supershow" in Berlin, Mesa, Cleveland, and St. Paul, 1979-80.
1980 Windsor Jambs, for chamber ensemble, commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation
1980-81 Visiting Professor, Yale University
1981 Composer-in-Residence/Conductor, Aspen Music Festival
Composer-in-Residence, American Dance Festival, North Carolina
Featured Guest Composer/Conductor, Saarländischer Rundfunk Saarbrücken
1982 Folio II, for variable instrumentation
Visiting Professor, University of Indiana
1983 Sounder Rounds, for orchestra, commissioned by Saarländischer Rundfunk
1984-89 Director, Fromm Music Foundation, curated Fromm Weeks of Music, Aspen Music Festival
1985 Tracer, for chamber ensemble
Visiting Professor, Hochschule fur Musik
Guest Composer, DAAD Kunstler Program
1986 Visiting Professor, University of Cincinnati, Conservatory of Music
1986-87 Visiting Professor, Yale School of Music, Yale University
1986-89 President, American Music Center
1992 Oh, K, for chamber ensemble
Tracking Pierrot, for chamber ensemble
1995 Summer Suite '95, for piano
1998 John Cage Award, Foundation for Contemporary Arts
1999 Special Events, for violoncello and piano
2002 Earle Brown died on July, 2 at his home in Rye, New York.

This chronology was compiled by Rebecca Y. Kim and Jason Cady. Last update: August 19, 2014

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Sollins-Brown, Susan.  “Happily Ever After.”  Contemporary Music Review 26, nos. 3-4 [special double issue, “Earle Brown: From Motets to Mathematics”] (2007): 287-88.

Stein, Leonard.  “New Music on Mondays.”  Perspectives of New Music 2, no. 1 (autumn-winter 1963): 142-50.

Stephan, Rudolf, et al., eds.  Von Kranichstein zur Gegenwart: 50 Jahre Darmstädter Ferienkurse.  Stuttgart: DACO, 1996.  382-87.  [article by Earle Brown]

Stone, Kurt.  “Problems and Methods of Notation.”  Perspectives of New Music 1, no. 2 (spring 1963): 9-31.

Straebel, Volker.  ”Conceptions of Space, Time, and Density in the Early Tape Pieces by Earle Brown and Morton Feldman (1953).”  Unpublished paper delivered at the Electronic Music Studies Network/Electronic Music Foundation conference, New York University, 2011.

Susman, William.  “Available Recollections.”  Contemporary Music Review 26, nos. 3-4 [special double issue, “Earle Brown: From Motets to Mathematics”] (2007): 371-75.

Sutherland, Roger.  New Perspectives in Music.  London: Sun Tavern Fields, 1974.  139-56.

__________.  Music Notation in the Twentieth Century: A Practical Guidebook.  New York: W. W. Norton, 1980.

Thomson, Virgil.  American Music Since 1910.  New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.

Tomkins, Calvin.  The Bride and the Bachelors: Five Master of the Avant Garde.  New York: Penguin, 1965.

__________.  Off The Wall: Robert Rauschenberg and the Art World of Our Time.  New York: Penguin Books, 1981.  vii, 100-101, 107 .

Toop, Richard.  “Chance and Choice: American and European New Music.”  Circuit 2, no. 6 (June 1968): 10-17.

__________.  The Aesthetics of a tabula rasa: Western Art Music’s Avant-Garde from 1949-53.”  Sydney Journal of Literature and Aesthetics 6 (October 1996): 61-76.

Troxler, Ule and Markus Kutter.  Antoinette Vischer: Dokumente zu einem Leben für das Cembalo.  Basel: Birkhäuser, 1976.  75-78.

Uitti, Frances-Marie.  “Earle Brown—Innovator.”  Contemporary Music Review 26, nos. 3-4 [special double issue, “Earle Brown: From Motets to Mathematics”] (2007): 333-34.

Vigeland, Nils.  “November 1952 (‘Synergy’) for Piano(s) and/or Other Instruments or Sound-Producing Media.”  Contemporary Music Review 26, nos. 3-4 [special double issue, “Earle Brown: From Motets to Mathematics”] (2007): 471-73

Vinton, John, ed.  Dictionary of Contemporary Music.  New York: E. P. Dutton, 1974.  106-7.

Von Maur, Karin.  The Sound of Painting: Music in Modern Art.  New York: Prestel, 1999.  115-18.

Wagner, A.  Ausstellung Graphischer Partituren.  Saarbrücken, 1996.  1-20.

Welsh, John P.  “Open Form and Earle Brown’s Modules I and II (1967).”  Perspectives of New Music 32, no. 1 (winter 1994): 254-90.

Wolff, Christian. Christian Wolff: Cues, Writings and Conversations.  Eds. Gisela Gronemeyer and Reinhard Oehlschlägel.  Cologne: MusikTexte, 1998.

__________.  “Experimental Music around 1950 and Some Consequences and Causes (Social-Political and Musical).” [2003] American Music 27, no. 4 (winter 2009): 424-40.

Wolpe, Stefan.  “On New (and Not-So-New) Music in America.”  Trans. Austin Clarkson.  Journal of Music Theory 28, no. 1 (spring 1984): 1-45.

Wörner, Karl H.  Stockhausen: Life And Work.  Berkeley: University of California, 1973.  228, 233-35.

Yaffé, John.  “An Interview with Composer Earle Brown.”  Contemporary Music Review 26, nos. 3-4 [special double issue, “Earle Brown: From Motets to Mathematics”] (2007):289-310.

Young, La Monte, ed.  An Anthology of Chance Operations.  New York: Young and MacLow, 1963.  7-9.

Zierolf, Robert.  Indeterminacy in Musical Form.  Ph.D. diss., University of Cincinnati, 1983.

This bibliography was compiled by Rebecca Y. Kim and Jason Cady. Last update: June 12, 2014

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Underwater Princess Waltz (released 2012)
Performed by: Zwerm
Produced by:
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Amazon

Tracking Pierrot (released 2012)
Performed by: Ensemble 29,46° S, 62,7° O , Manuel Nawri
Produced by:
Compositions: Tracking Pierrot
Buy this recording Testklang

Abstract Sound Objects (released 2012)
Performed by: Sabine Liebner
Produced by: WERGO
Compositions: Twenty-Five Pages, Summer Suite '95, Home Burial, Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording WERGO

A life in music - CONTEMPORARY SOUND SERIES Box 6 (released 2012)
Performed by: Various
Produced by: WERGO

Buy this recording WERGO, Amazon

A life in music - CONTEMPORARY SOUND SERIES Box 4 (released 2010)
Performed by: Various
Produced by: Wergo
Compositions: String Quartet
Buy this recording Wergo, Amazon

A life in music - CONTEMPORARY SOUND SERIES Box 3 (released 2010)
Performed by: Various
Produced by: Wergo
Compositions: Corroboree: for 3 or 2 Pianos
Buy this recording Wergo, Amazon

A life in music - CONTEMPORARY SOUND SERIES Box 5 (released 2009)
Performed by: Various
Produced by: Wergo

Buy this recording Wergo, Amazon

A life in music - CONTEMPORARY SOUND SERIES Box 2 (released 2009)
Performed by: Various
Produced by: Wergo
Compositions: Music for Violin, Cello & Piano, Music for Cello and Piano, Hodograph I
Buy this recording Wergo, Amazon
Charlotte Moorman - Cello Anthology (released 2007)
Performed by: Charlotte Moorman
Produced by: Label: Alga Marghen
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Label: Alga Marghen

TRACER (CD / DVD) (released 2006)
Performed by: ne(x)tworks
Produced by: MODE records
Compositions: Tracer, Folio and 4 Systems, Music for Violin, Cello & Piano, New Piece, Octet I, Special Events, String Quartet
Buy this recording MODE records

Selected works 1952-1965 (released 2006)
Performed by:
Produced by: New World Records
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems, Music for Cello and Piano, Music for Violin, Cello & Piano, Nine Rarebits, Novara, Octet I, Times Five
Buy this recording New World Records,
SCENE Piano Music of the Darmstadt School Vol 2 (released 2004)
Performed by: Steffen Schleiermacher
Produced by: MD&G
Compositions: Corroboree: for 3 or 2 Pianos
Buy this recording MD&G

Tear (released 2003)
Performed by: Del Sol String Quartet
Produced by:
Compositions: String Quartet
Buy this recording


Chamber Music (released 2002)
Performed by: Various
Produced by: Matchless Recordings (UK)
Compositions: Tracking Pierrot, Folio and 4 Systems, Corroboree: for 3 or 2 Pianos
Buy this recording Matchless Recordings (UK)

Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern: 1968-1998 (released 2002)
Performed by: Urs Peter Schneider, Erika Radermacher
Produced by: Musiques Suisses
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Musiques Suisses

20/21 - Intercomunicazione (released 2002)
Performed by: Siegfried Palm, Aloys Kontarsky
Produced by: Deutsche Grammophon
Compositions: Music for Cello and Piano
Buy this recording Deutsche Grammophon

The New York School (released 2001)
Performed by: Max Neuhaus
Produced by: Alga Marghen (Italy)
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Alga Marghen (Italy)

Electronics and Percussion -- Five Realizations (released 2001)
Performed by: Max Neuhaus
Produced by: Sony (Japan)
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Sony (Japan)

Subtropics Vol. 1: Breath (released 2000)
Performed by: Subtropics Festival and FIU New Music Ensembles, Earle Brown (Conductor)
Produced by: Elegua Records
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Elegua Records

American Masters Series: Earle Brown (released 1999)
Performed by: Various
Produced by: CRI (note: this has been reissued as "Selected Works 1952-1965" by New World Records)
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems, Music for Cello and Piano, Music for Violin, Cello & Piano, Nine Rarebits, Novara, Octet I, Times Five
Buy this recording CRI (note: this has been reissued as "Selected Works 1952-1965" by New World Records)

Centering: The Music of Earle Brown (released 1997)
Performed by: San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Produced by: Newport Classic
Compositions: Centering, Event: Synergy II, Tracking Pierrot, Windsor Jambs
Buy this recording Newport Classic

Twenty-five Pages (released 1996)
Performed by: Steffen Schleiermacher
Produced by: Wergo
Compositions: Twenty-Five Pages
Buy this recording Wergo

Music for Piano(s) 1951 - 1995 (released 1995)
Performed by: David Arden
Produced by: New Albion
Compositions: Twenty-Five Pages, Three Pieces for Piano, Summer Suite '95, Perspectives, Forgotten Piece, Folio and 4 Systems, Corroboree: for 3 or 2 Pianos
Buy this recording Amazon

American String Quartets, 1950 - 1970 (released 1995)
Performed by: Concord String Quartet
Produced by: Vox
Compositions: String Quartet
Buy this recording Vox

zeitgenoessische Werke fuer Violoncello und Klavier (released 1995)
Performed by: Dorothea von Albrecht, Christine Olbrich
Produced by:
Compositions: Music for Cello and Piano
Buy this recording


New Music for 1, 2, & 3 Pianos (released 1995)
Performed by: Piano Duo Degenhardt-Kent
Produced by: Mode
Compositions: Corroboree: for 3 or 2 Pianos
Buy this recording Mode

Synergy (released 1994)
Performed by: Ensemble Avantgarde Leipzig
Produced by: Hat Hut Records
Compositions: Event: Synergy II, Tracking Pierrot, Windsor Jambs
Buy this recording Hat Hut Records

The New York School 3 (released 1994)
Performed by: Eberhard Blum, Art Lange, Jan Williams
Produced by: Hat Hut Records
Compositions: Folio II, Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Hat Hut Records

Four Systems (released 1993)
Performed by: Eberhard Blum
Produced by: Hat Hut Records
Compositions: Folio II, Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Hat Hut Records

The New York School 2 (released 1993)
Performed by: Eberhard Blum, Steffen Schleiermacher, Jan Williams
Produced by: Hat Hut Records
Compositions: Octet I, Hodograph I, Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Hat Hut Records

The New York School (released 1991)
Performed by: Eberhard Blum, Frances-Marie Uitti, Nils Vigeland
Produced by: Hat Hut Records
Compositions: Music for Cello and Piano, Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Hat Hut Records

Cifre / Four Systems / Cartridge Music (released 1988)
Performed by: Mario Bertoncini
Produced by: Edition RZ
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Edition RZ

America Sings: American Choral Music after 1950 The Non-Traditionalists (released 1979)
Performed by: Gregg Smith Singers
Produced by: Vox Turnabout
Compositions: Small Pieces for Large Chorus
Buy this recording Amazon

Gentle Fire (released 1973)
Performed by: Gentle Fire
Produced by: EMI
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording EMI

LaSalle String Quartet: avantgarde (released 1969)
Performed by: LaSalle String Quartet
Produced by: Deutsche Grammophon
Compositions: String Quartet
Buy this recording Deutsche Grammophon

The New Music (released 1966)
Performed by: Rome Symphonie Orchestra / Bruno Maderna
Produced by: RCA
Compositions: Available Forms I
Buy this recording RCA


3a bienal americana de arte(released 1969)
Performed by: Horacio Vaggione, Pedro Echarte
Produced by:
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording buy from Discogs


Musique Expérimentale II (released 1969)
Performed by: Group de Recherches Musicales de L'O.R.T.F.
Produced by: disques BAM
Compositions: Times Five
Buy this recording disques BAM

Prima Vista (released 1969)
Performed by: Pro Musica da Camera
Produced by: Thorofon
Compositions: Folio and 4 Systems
Buy this recording Thorofon

Contemporary Sound Series


Earle Brown’s Contemporary Sound Series gave a panoramic view of avant-garde music from the 1960s and beyond with 49 composers from 16 countries. Composers who also performed on the recordings include John Cage, Luciano Berio, and Bruno Maderna. The series featured the first commercial recordings of Giacinto Scelsi, Christian Wolff, and Sylvano Bussotti.
 
Earle Brown produced the original 18 LPs from 1960 to 1973. Wergo reissued these rare collector items on six box sets with three CDs each. Udo Wüstendörfer digitized and remastered the historic recordings under the auspices of the Earle Brown Music Foundation.

Earle Brown shot these photographs for the Contemporary Sound Series, often during the recording sessions.

(See also: DISCOGRAPHY)

Contents (scroll down or go directly to Vol. I, Vol. II, Vol. III, Vol. IV, Vol. V, Vol. VI):

Earle Brown – A Life in Music – Vol. I:


CD 1: Concert Percussion for Orchestra
Amadeo Roldán: Ritmicas Nos. 5 & 6
Lou Harrison: Canticle No. 1
William Russell: Three Dance Movements
Henry Cowell: Ostinato Pianissimo
William Russell: Three Cuban Pieces
John Cage and Lou Harrison: Double Music
John Cage: Amores



CD 2: Stockhausen – Kagel
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zyklus / Refrain
Mauricio Kagel: Transición II



CD 3: Live Electronic Music Improvised
MEV: Spacecraft
AMM




The Manhattan Percussion Ensemble / conductors: John Cage and Paul Price / Christoph Caskel: percussion / David Tudor: piano / Aloys Kontarsky: piano, wood blocks / Bernhard Kontarsky: celeste, antique cymbals / MEV (from Rome: Ala Bryant / Alvin Curran / Frederic Rzewski / Richard Teitelbaum / Ivan Vandor): electronics / AMM (from London: Cornelius Cardew / Lou Gare / Christopher Hobbs / Eddie Prévost / Keith Rowe): electronics

Earle Brown – A Life in Music – Vol. 2:

This Volume won the prestigious German Record Critics' Award.

CD 1 – Works for Chamber Orchestra
Luigi Nono: Polifonica – Monodia – Ritmica
Bruno Maderna: Serenata N. 2
Luciano Berio: Différences



CD 2 – New Music from London
Peter Maxwell Davies: Antechrist
Harrison Birtwistle: Ring a Dumb Carillon
David Bedford: Come In Here Child
Richard Orton: Cycle for 2 or 4 Players



CD 3 – Feldman – Brown
Morton Feldman: Durations I–IV
Earle Brown: Music for Violin, Cello and Piano
Music for Cello and Piano
Hodograph





The English Chamber Orchestra / conductor: Bruno Maderna / Jacques Castagner: flute / Walter Lewis: clarinet / Francis Pierre: harp / Walter Trampler: viola / Seymour Barab: cello / conductor: Luciano Berio / The Pierrot Players / conductor: Peter Maxwell Davies / Mary Thomas: soprano / Jane Manning: soprano / John Tilbury: piano / Moray Welsh: cello / Richard Orton: piano / Don Hammond: (alto) flute / Don Butterfield: tuba / David Tudor: piano / Philip Kraus: vibraphone, orchestra bells, marimba / Matthew Raimondi: violin / David Soyer: cello

Earle Brown – A Life in Music – Vol. 3:

This Volume was nominated for the ICMA classical music awards 2011.

CD 1 – The Voice of Cathy Berberian
Luciano Berio: Circles (e.e. cummings)
Sylvano Bussotti: Frammento
John Cage: Aria with Fontana Mix



CD 2 – Toshiro Mayuzumi: Nirvana Symphony
Buddhist Cantata for 12-part male chorus and orchestra



CD 3 – New Music for Piano(s)
Iannis Xenakis: Herma
Roger Reynolds: Fantasy for Pianist
Yuji Takahashi: Metathesis
Earle Brown: Corroboree



Cathy Berberian: voice / Francis Pierre: harp / Jean-Pierre Drouet: percussion / Boris de Vinogradov: percussion / Luciano Berio: piano / NHK Symphony Orchestra / Tokyo Choraliers / Nippon University Chorus / conductor: Wilhelm Schüchter / Yuji Takahashi: piano

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 4:


CD 1 – New Music for String Quartet
Pierre Boulez: Livre pour Quatuor I, II, V
Giacinto Scelsi: Quartetto d’archi n. 4
Earle Brown: String Quartet



CD 2 – New Music for Chamber Orchestra
Iannis Xenakis: Achorripsis
Aldo Clementi: Triplum
Bo Nilsson: Szene III, Frequenzen
Arnold Schönberg: Drei Stücke
Wlodzimierz Kotonski: Canto
Yuji Takahashi: Six Stoicheia



CD 3 – The Hamburger Kammersolisten
Milko Kelemen: Études contrapuntiques
Niccolò Castiglioni: Tropi
Vittorio Fellegara: Serenata
Isang Yun: Musik für sieben Instrumente



Quatuor Parrenin / Hamann Quartett / Quartetto di Nuova Musica / New York String Quartet / Internationales Kranichsteiner Kammerensemble, conductor: Bruno Maderna / Hamburger Kammersolisten, conductor: Francis Travis / Paul Zukofsky: violin

Earle Brown – A Life in Music – Vol. 5:


CD 1 – Sonic Arts Union: Electric Sound
Alvin Lucier: Vespers
Robert Ashley: Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon
David Behrman: Runthrough
Gordon Mumma: Hornpipe



CD 2 – "Concord“ Sonata
Charles Ives: Piano Sonata No. 2 “Concord, Mass., 1840–1860”



CD 3 – Music for Flute and Piano
Franco Evangelisti: Proporzioni
Niccolò Castiglioni: Gymel
Luciano Berio: Sequenza I
Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle noir
Yoritsune Matsudaira: Somaksah
Bruno Maderna: Honeyrêves



Alvin Lucier: electronics / Robert Ashley: electronics / Mary Ashley, Barbara Lloyd, Mary Lucier: singers / Cynthia Liddell: speaker / David Behrman: electronics / Gordon Mumma: French horn, electronics / Aloys Kontarsky: piano / Theo Plümacher: viola / Willy Schwegler: flute / Severino Gazzelloni: flute

 

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 6:


CD 1 – John Cage – Christian Wolff
John Cage: Cartridge Music
Christian Wolff: Duo for Violinist and Pianist / Duet II for Horn and Piano / Summer for Strings Quartet



CD 2 – New Music for Violin and Piano
George Crumb: Four Nocturnes for Violin and Piano (Night Music II)
Isang Yun: Gasa
Charles Wuorinen: The Long and the Short
John Cage: Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard



CD 3 – New Music from South America for Chamber Orchestra
Gerardo Gandini: Soria Moria
César Bolaños: Divertimento III
Marlos Nobre: Tropicale
Oscar Bazán: Sonogramas
Manuel Enríquez: Diptico I
Alcides Lanza: Penetrations II

John Cage / David Tudor: piano / Kenji Kobayashi: violin / Howard Hillyer: horn / Matthew Raimondi: violin / Walter Trampler: viola / David Soyer: cello / Paul Zukofsky: violin / Gilbert Kalish: piano / The New Sound Composers-Performers Group / Alcides Lanza: conductor



A gallery of photos taken by Earle Brown for the Contemporary Sound Series:



Editing Report

The Earle Brown Music Foundation prepared 34 works for publication by Peters Edition. A full editing report can be downloaded as a PDF (106 pages, 28.1 MB).

Earle Brown Music Foundation Editing Team:
Thomas Fichter, Senior Editor
Jason Cady, Researcher and Proofreader
Marybeth Sollins, Editor (text)
Phil Thomas, Music Engraver
Russell Hassell, Designer
Robert Williams, Retoucher and Designer (pre-press preparation)



News

In Memoriam Earle Brown (2011), by Orlando Garcia

The composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia has released a CD with three of his orchestra pieces, one of them titled In Memoriam Earle Brown. Get it for download here, or preorder here. Performed by the Malaga Philharmonic, conducted by Jose Serebrier.

New score uploads


Browse the full score of the concert version of Earle Brown's INDICES here
Browse the full score of SIGN SOUNDS here




Earle Brown's NEW
 PIECE (1972)

is now available from Edition Peters.




Folio II Update

Beginning in 1970, Earle Brown wrote many one-page graphic scores for a follow up to Folio. The Earle Brown Music Foundation has now confirmed eight works that belong to the collection. Peruse a PDF of the score.




New Recording of Earle Brown's DECEMBER 52

by the Berlin-Dutch electric guitar quartet Zwerm on Underwater Princess Waltz: A Collection of One Page Pieces,
from New World Records, with liner notes by Amy Beal.





 


 

More Scores Online
Edition Peters Germany has made 16 additional Earle Brown scores available online.






Images by Earle Brown of Morton Feldman discovered in the archive
The Newspaper - Le France Soir - reads:

"The photos of the tragic night in Paris
Desolation in the "Quartier Latin"
after the attacks on the barricades
between students and police
many injured
400 arrests
at night the government is trying to negotiate with protesters
At 2:15 am, failure, order was ... to destroy roadblocks
"

Morton Feldman reading France Soir 1968


Article
Read an article about the Earle Brown Symposium BEYOND NOTATION by Robert Kirzinger on newmusicbox.

Two Key Note Addresses
Read the addresses by speakers Kyle Gann and Richard Toop for BEYOND NOTATION.




Events

Upcoming performances:

 

July  27, 2014, 10 am, Tanglewood 
Earle Brown's STRING QUARTET (1965)

 



Releases

December 2012:  Earle Brown's TRACKING PIERROT (1992)


Released on: TESTKLANG
Conductor: Manuel Nawri 



Sabine Liebner, piano: Abstract Sound Objects


Piano solo CD released on Wergo records
:
Home Burial (1949) - first recording
Folio
(1952/1953)
Twenty-Five Pages (1953)
Four Systems (1954)
Summer Suite ’95 (1995)

Contemporary Sound Series Reissue Completed

The reissuing of Earle Brown's Contemporary Sound Series, by Wergo on 18 CDs in six box sets, has been completed in March 2012 with the launch of Volume VI. This landmark series of historic recordings of the international avantgarde of the mid 20th century, produced by Earle Brown, is now  available again to the public in its entirety. After having been out of print for three decades, the complete series demonstrates once again Earle Brown's outstanding sense for lasting quality and value, artistically as well as technically. (To find out about release dates for different countries, please go to www.wergo.de).

To see all Wergo CDs with works by Earle Brown, please click here

More

Earle Brown's
CONTEMPORARY SOUND SERIES, Box II, wins German Record Critics' Award



Based on recommendations of 114 critics, the German Record Critics' Award is Germany's most prestigious award for recordings. Box II of Earle Brown's recently reissued Contemporary Sound Series has won the first-quarter 2010 award.
 

Recorded between 1960 and 1973, the original eighteen LPs of Earle Brown’s legendary Contemporary Sound Series have been highly sought after in the secondary market since 1978 when they were discontinued. These rare and historically important recordings of international avant-garde music have been carefully digitized and remastered by the Earle Brown Music Foundation. The complete series is being released by WERGO in six CD boxed sets.
The series presents the extraordinary scene of contemporary and avant-garde music that flourished in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Japan in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Box II of this series contains works by Luigi Nono, Bruno Maderna, Luciano Berio, Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, David Bedford, Richard Orton, Morton Feldman and Earle Brown on three CDs.

Event Galleries

BEYOND NOTATION, an Earle Brown Symposium
At Northeastern University, Boston, MA


On January 18 and 19, 2013, the Department of Music at Northeastern University with support from the Earle Brown Music Foundation hosted a symposium on the music of Earle Brown (1926-2002) across two days of scholarship, exhibits, open rehearsals, and performances. Please click here to go to the conference website at NEU. You will find details about the conference, an Earle Brown bibliography and much more.

With: Kyle Gann, Richard Toope, Susan Sollins-Brown, Christina Wolff, Carolyn Brown, Stephen Drury, Steffen Schleiermacher, Louis Pine, Thomas Fichter, Jason Cady, Cornelius Dufallo, Fredrick Gifford, Zbigniew Granat, Shanna Gutierrez, Natilee Harren, Elizabeth Hoover, Rebecca Y. Kim, David Magnus, Kerry O’Brien, David Ryan, Micah Silver, Volker Straebel, William Susman.

New: See the full symposium on video here.


(Photos: Thomas Fichter)




Earle Brown Conducting Workshop, Frankfurt 2011, August 2-4, 2011


Hans Zender, Ensemble Modern
Frankfurt, Germany, August 2-3, 2011


The renowned Ensemble Modern, in collaboration with the Earle Brown Music Foundation, held a workshop on conducting Earle Brown’s “open form” works.

The participating conductors were: Pablo Rus Broseta, Spain, Michel Galante, USA, Steven Jarvi, USA, Manuel Nawri, Germany, Alan Pierson, USA.

The American composer Earle Brown (1926 - 2002) irrevocably changed the thinking of generations of composers since about 1950. His “open form” works, inspired by Alexander Calder’s mobile sculptures and Jackson Pollock’s paintings, broke up the existing ideas of overall linear time, development and fixed form in composition, replacing it with the spontaneous creation of musical form by shaping, mixing and superimposing predetermined mobile elements. Conductor-composer Hans Zender shared his extensive knowledge of Earle Brown’s music.


(Photos: Thomas Fichter)




Foundation

The Earle Brown Music Foundation

Susan Sollins-Brown, President

Thomas Fichter, Executive Director, email:thomas.fichter at earle-brown.org
Jason Cady, Senior Researcher,
email: jason.cady at earle-brown.org

Special Thanks
to:
Gina Genova, Musicologist - Archivist
Russell Hassell, Designer (print)
Robert Williams, Retoucher and Designer (pre press preparation)
Marybeth Sollins, Editor (text)
Phil Thomas, Music Engraver
Udo Wuestendoerfer, Tonmeister (digitization: Contemporary Sound Series)
Rebecca Y. Kim, (bibliography, chronology)


Contact Information
For research queries or rights clearance please contact us by email: info@earle-brown.org.

The Earle Brown Music Foundation
52 Brevoort Lane
Rye, NY 10580


The Earle Brown Music Foundation is a 501(c)3 Private Foundation

Archive Visits

Visits to the Earle Brown Music Foundation archive for scholarly research may be arranged by appointment. Please send  a brief summary of your research goal to thomas.fichter[at]earle-brown.org. The archive is located in Rye, NY, which is a 45 minute train ride from Grand Central Station, New York City. Please also refer to our extensive online archive.