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New CD: WorldBrass Originals

We are very happy to announce the release of our newest SACD, WorldBrass Originals, produced by the Pentatone label.
Some time ago we decided to coordinate the recording of a new CD with the celebration of our 20th anniversary as an ensemble. From the outset it was clear that we wanted to present original compositions written especially for our group; the only challenge was to decide which pieces to record. Over the last 20 years we have commissioned a total of 52 new compositions and arrangements, so the choice was not that easy to make. In the end, we believe we have found an interesting cross-section of WorldBrass’ repertoire.

Two of the works come from the beginnings of our group’s history; Konzertstück from Marcin Blazewicz from Poland and German composer Theo Brandmüller’s Danses Concertantes. These commissions came as a result of our affiliation with the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra at that time. It was great fun to rehearse and record these very contrasting pieces as we had not programmed them for quite some time. The Konzertstück’s three movements create moods that one might associate with film-music whereas Brandmüllers music is more abstract, combing elements of dance music with concert music. The other four pieces come from more recent times. The newest work was written by Austrian trumpeter Lorenz Raab. No strings attached, with its use of improvised as well as written melodies, has already become an audience favourite since we started playing it in 2015. Skirll was written by the now, well sought after young Scottish composer Tom Harrold, and combines elements of funk with contemporary musical language. The Tsuumi Suite, made up of three pieces by the Finnish world music band Tsuumi Sound System was arranged by our long-time partner jazz trumpeter Oliver Groenewald. And to finish, a second piece by Lorenz Raab, often programmed as an encore, his Little Story.

With this recording we also wanted to highlight a project that we have been involved in over the past number of years, our “Concert in the Dark” project. This concert experience is quite unique in that the audience experiences the concert without seeing the musicians playing. Audience members are led to their seats wearing a sleeping mask, the idea being to eliminate optical distractions and sensitize the ears more to the music played. The most recent version of this project saw the audience sitting within a surround-sound speaker system, controlled by a sound engineer. To set the mood for each piece/movement pre-recorded sequences were played through the sound system. The effect was similar to watching a film in a movie theatre, but in this case each audience member was responsible for coming up with his/her own pictures. We have included a taste of this experience on the CD. Before each track there is a shortened version of the sound file we used in the concert. We hope you enjoy it.

It is also possible to download a version of the CD without the sound-files from the Pentatone web-site.

We are proud to have produced what we feel is a very fine representation of what we do and are very grateful to Everett Porter from Polyhymnia who recorded us.

WorldBrass Originals will be available in June!