Classical Music

Sustained By Breath And Line With MUSIQA

Artistic Director Anthony Brandt discusses his upcoming premiere as well as what’s to come in MUSIQA’s 15th season.

MUSIQA begins its 15th season in style with the saxophone, an instrument that a number of contemporary composers have taken a liking to due to its relatively young age and therefore comparatively small literature.

On this first concert, Sustained by Breath and Line, University of Houston professor Dan Gelok and his studio saxophonists will perform a number of works for saxophone quartet, including a premiere by MUSIQA’s Artistic Director Anthony Brandt. The concert also features percussionists Craig Hauschildt and Jamey Kollar.

Brandt’s Full Circle is a work created in collaboration with the Houston Ballet Academy and choreographer Oliver Halkowich. “In thinking about what the ideal ensemble would be… saxophones are one of the best instruments in terms of projecting in all sorts of different acoustics and alternative venues,” Brandt says about what led him to his particular instrumentation, envisioning that the piece could be performed in a variety of locations.

On the appeal for composers in writing for saxophone quartets, “It’s a glorious combination, half way between a string quartet and a choir. It has that unity of sound of a string quartet and the incredible dexterity and flexibility that you can get on an instrument, but this wonderful harmoniousness and lyricism and sense of breath that you get with a choir,” says Brandt.

Also on the first concert are Zack Browning’s Funk Assault, David Ludwig’s Josquin Microludes, Per Nörgard’s Re-percussion, Robert Paterson’s Tongue and Groove, and James Primosch’s Short Stories.

Later in the season will be works by the other three MUSIQA composers, Pierre Jalbert, Karim Al-Zand, and a world premiere by Marcus Maroney. Hear my conversation with Anthony Brandt above. Sustained by Breath and Line is this Saturday (October 1st) at 7:30 at the MATCH. Go to MUSIQA’s website for more information.

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