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Brendan Connelly

New Orleans, LA   

Brendan Connelly is a composer and performer from Queens, New York- now living in New Orleans. He is co-founder of the Obie-award winning Two-headed Calf (along with director Brooke O’Harra) and has created the sound and music for all of its productions, including You, My Mother, Trifles, Room for Cream, Major Barbara and Drum of the Waves of Horikawa.  They are a resident company at La MaMa, E.T.C. where many of the Calf pieces have been performed. 

Brendan collaborates regularly with the Obie-winning collaborative PearlDamour including on How To Build a Forest (an 8-hour performance-installation), Milton (a show and community-engagement in five towns named Milton) and the recent Lost in the Meadow – an outdoor performance in a 40-acre meadow.  

He has worked with many exciting directors including Pam MacKinnon, Anne Kaufmann, Suzan-Lori Parks, Seth Bockley, David Levine and Ian Belton.

His concert music has been performed by the S.E.M. Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, Timetable Percussion, Wet Ink, Hunter-Gatherer, members of the Mivos Quartet and others.

He has been called “talented” by the New York Times, “spectacular” by the New York Sun and Culturebot just says “Brendan Connelly’s music, as always, rocks like crazy”.

Brendan is an alum of the HERE Arts Center residency, the NEA/TCG Career Development Program and of Bard College, where he received his MFA.

Wild Land (from O Pioneers)

For piano, electronics and spoken voice (2014), this is an early sketch for WILD LAND, my collaboration with choreographer Karinne Keithley-Syers – used for our work-in-progress showing at the COIL/CATCH Festival. It focusses on the slow progression of piano chords, mirroring the glacial evolution of movement in the dancers bodies, and how that intersects with the spoken text.

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Lost in the Meadow: excerpts

Lost in the Meadow is a collaboration between PearlDamour, designer Mimi Lien and composer Brendan Connelly. Commissioned by Longwood Gardens and People’s Light Theater (outside of Philadelphia), this piece is set in a 46-acre meadow. Actors make their entrances from hundreds of feet away, audiences on headphones, following the tale. Part silent movie, part puppet show, part opera. The music was composed for the new music ensemble Yarn/Wire.

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You, My Mother: a chamber opera in two parts

You, My Mother is a production of the Obie-winning Two-headed Calf and the first collaboration of Brendan Connelly and Karinne Keithley-Syers. The music is performed by Yarn/Wire and features the mezzo-soprano Beth Griffiths and the soprano Kate Soper. It premiered at La MaMa in 2012. The piece is a sometimes delicate, sometimes raucous reflection on our mothers. The excerpts are examples of Connelly’s varied use of text, from notated spoken to mock-lullaby to a post-tonal “new music” vocabulary – and of Keithley’s cut-up writing style.

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