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The music of Anthony Braxton

Towards a multi-hierarchic and trans-idiomatic performance practice through the music of Anthony Braxton

Since the ‘60’s American composer Anthony Braxton has been building a catalog of works that combines the traditions of notated and improvised music. His compositional systems generate unique ‘open scores’ that allow for a “multi-hierarchic” and “trans-idiomatic” approach, questioning the traditional cast of composer versus score versus performer. This is most pronounced in his more recent work, starting with the Ghost Trance Music-series.  However, contrary to his earlier work until the late 80’s, this recent work has received much less coverage. 

This research-project will focus on this underexposed part of Anthony Braxton’s catalog of works. From a theoretical perspective I will look into how Braxton’s recent work proposes a radical continuation and expansion of the traditional “open work”, generating a unique performance practice. I will then put this into practice and perform Braxton’s work in “hybrid” ensembles, consisting of musicians with backgrounds in both jazz and classical music. Lastly, through workshops and lectures I will research how Braxton’s work can generate a common ground between the classical- and jazz departments at the conservatory.