Anthony Braxton

Composition No. 247

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"Composition N. 247" (which makes up the whole duration of this CD) is part of Anthony Braxton's Ghost Trance Music series. An untypical gesture, this one is scored for a specific instrumentation of two reeds and bagpipes. The latter, performed by Matthew Welch, gives the piece a highly unusual sound (the place of bagpipes in creative music is close to nil). Another difference from most of the other GTM compositions resides in the fact that the string of eighth notes serving as the looped motif also includes occasional rhythmically complex figures (such as 16th notes quintuplets), which disrupt the steady march of the piece. One final novelty: The piece uses only nine notes -- the ones available on the bagpipes. All this being said, the resulting piece makes one huge hour-long marathon involving constant circular breathing and a complex system of cues, shifts, and bouncing between pages. It leaves the listener, who does not have the score to follow its intricate subtleties, exhausted and perplexed. The drone of the bagpipes opens interesting polyphonies and the cycling repeated motifs create an hallucinogenic state of mind, but most listeners will prefer to push the stop button before they reach the end. And one can hardly blame them. James Fei's liner notes bring shed some light on the piece.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 01:01:35
blue highlight denotes track pick