About The Tri-Centric Orchestra

This is the community blog of the Tri-Centric Orchestra, moderated by Amy Crawford.

The Tri-Centric Orchestra was founded by Anthony Braxton for the recording of the opera Trillium E in the spring of 2010. The project brought together an extraordinary community of creative artists: a family of artists 60-musicians strong, equally comfortable improvising and interpreting the most rigorous notation, wholly committed to pursuing a new American music. The group has grown into a permanent entity, dedicated to performing the large ensemble works of Braxton and similarly forward-thinking composers, as well as developing the composers and conceptualists within its own ranks.

The musicians in the Tri-Centric Orchestra include: Erica Dicker (concertmaster), Renee Baker, Sarah Bernstein, Olivia De Prato, Jason Kao Hwang, Andie Springer, Skye Steele, Mazz Swift (violins); Amy Cimini, Jessica Pavone, Brian Thompson (violas); Tomeka Reid, Tomas Ulrich, Shanda Wooley (cellos); Ken Filiano, Carl Testa (basses); Michel Gentile, Nicole Mitchell, Leah Paul (flutes); Christa Robinson, Salim Washington (oboes); Dave Kadden, Katie Scheele (English horns); Matt Bauder, Jason Mears, Mike McGinnis, Oscar Noriega, Josh Sinton (clarinets); Brad Balliet, Sara Schoenbeck, Katie Young (bassoons); Dan Blake, Dan Voss (saxophones); Mark Taylor (French horn); Gareth Flowers, Nate Wooley (trumpets); Dan Blacksberg, Sam Kulik, Reut Regev (trombones); Jay Rozen (tuba); Chris Dingman, Tyshawn Sorey (percussion); Amy Crawford, Cory Smythe (piano); Shelley Burgon (harp); Wesley Chinn, Chris DiMeglio, Nick Hallet, Richard Harper, Michael Douglas Jones, Kyoko Kitamura, Anne Rhodes, Kamala Sankaram, Elizabeth Saunders, Stan Scott, Jen Shyu, Fay Victor (vocals); Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Matthew Welch (conductors).

(photo by Michael Weintrob)

Composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton has been reinventing musical forms since his emergence from Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music in the 1960s. His 1968 recording “For Alto” essentially launched the history of unaccompanied recitals of solo instruments (other than piano) in creative music. His dozens of duo projects demonstrate the spectrum of his musical interests, with artists ranging from legendary jazz drummer Max Roach to British free-improv guru Derek Bailey to electronic music pioneer Richard Teitelbaum. Braxton’s small ensembles of the ’70s through the ’90s are considered among the most innovative groups of their respective eras, featuring such collaborators as Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Steve McCall, Chick Corea, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Barry Altschul, George Lewis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser, and Gerry Hemingway, among many others. His Creative Orchestra Music has brought together the varying streams of American jazz orchestras, marching bands, and experimental practices with the traditions of European concert music in a wholly individual compositional voice. His ever-evolving Ghost Trance Music of the past fifteen years has been described as “a utopian musical model for an ideal democracy,” serving as the artistic incubator for some of the most exciting artists of the current generation, including Taylor Ho Bynum, James Fei, Mary Halvorson, Chris Jonas, Steve Lehman, Nicole Mitchell, and Jessica Pavone.

Braxton’s five decades worth of recorded output is kaleidescopic, with a discography of over two hundred recordings. He has been the subject of numerous books, anthology chapters, scholarly studies and articles, in addition to his own extensive writings (Tri-Axium Writings 1-3 and his five-volume Composition Notes A-E). Braxton is also a tenured professor at Wesleyan University, which has one of the nation’s leading programs for world and experimental music, and his many awards include a 1994 MacArthur Fellowship and a 2009 honorary doctorate from the University of Liege, Belgium.


7 responses to “About The Tri-Centric Orchestra

  1. So happy to see this blog!

    Rehearsals began on Monday and are going beautifully. Of course everyone is excited about working with the legendary Braxton, but as you can imagine the experience goes much deeper than that. What Anthony is doing here is bringing together and expanding a community of creative musicans, and the potential ripple effect of this project cannot be underestimated.

    The combination of flexibility and rigorousness in Anthony’s musical approach, his resistance to genre pigeon-holing, his contagious generosity of spirit, and his love of a good hang with a bunch of decent folks who respect each other, are having a great impact on a whole generation of musicians. Please forgive my gushing; I’m a grouchy cynic by nature but have been walking on air since this project got started.

    As Anthony would say, hooray!

  2. I look forward very much to hearing Trillium E.
    I’ve listened for to Mr Braxton’s music for some time (not necessarily understood everything mind you). But – what can I say – I like listening to it.
    Supporting the Foundation sounds like a good idea, too.
    Can’t wait to hear this…..
    Kind Regards to All,
    Well Done,
    and thank you

  3. I am an upright bassist, if anybody wants to collaborate I’m all ears. (no pun intended) I am a big fan of Braxton and this music.

  4. Has it really been almost a year? I’m STILL processing it all. Hearing the most recent edits a few weeks ago was incredible. Of course Braxton is a “composer”. But really, what he has done with all of this, is masterfully orchestrated: the layers of vocal, instrumental and linguistic sound; the humans, from so many musical and personal points of view who are coming together to allow him to structure his energy of thought and spirit with theirs, to manifest his new creative visions and explorations.

  5. why called Tri-Centric ?I’m trying to translate the name into another language,but I’m not sure the meaning of the name…..:-(
    could anyone help me ?

  6. Pingback: Anthony Braxton’s new music at Wesleyan & Roulette | Top Poker Clubs

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