In january I started a new 2-year artistic research project focussing on the music of Anthony Braxton, and more specifically his “Ghost Trance Music” compositions, and how they allow for a multi-hierarchic and trans-idiomatic performance practice.
Balancing between notation and improvisation, Anthony Braxton’s “Ghost Trance Music” represent a unique body of “open works” that challenges traditional roles of composer, score and performer. In “Ghost Trance Music” Braxton’s entire fascinating musical universe comes together. You step into a ritual, guided by a melody without beginning or end, a stream of consciousness that serves as the central track leading you into the unknown. Originally inspired by the Native American practice of the Ghost Dance ritual, where surviving members of Native American tribes would attempt to communicate with their ancestors through transcendental ghost dances, the Ghost Trance Music pieces are specifically designed to function as pathways between Braxton’s different musical systems, between notation and improvisation, between past, present and future. It allows for a plurality of musical practices to join forces and creates an arena in which Braxton helps curate intuitive experiences for both performers and listeners.
Through this research project I will explore different interpretational possibilities of Ghost Trance Music, both in the context of a solo performance as in group. On june 25th I have the pleasure to present the first outcome of this research in a solo recital at Unerhörte Musik in Berlin. Also on the program are solo works by David Helbich and Martin Rane Bauck. Hope to see you there!
If you can’t come to the concert here’s a little excerpt of my interpretation of Braxton’s Composition No. 193 (+ 69Q).
If you’re interested in reading more about Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music, make sure to check out Erica Dicker’s excellent article in SoundAmerican’s Braxton Issue.
For more info on Anthony Braxton in general, check out the Tri-Centric Foundation.