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Jeffrey Brooks: The Passion

Recording & Release, Plus NYC premieres, of Four Major Works By Jeffrey Brooks for large mixed ensembles

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A Taste Of the Recording!

Posted on November 16, 2018 by Bang on a Can
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The first mixes are back and approved, before mastering. Give a listen to a bit of “After the Treewatcher,” the first track on the album.


With support from New Music USA, we plant to rehearse, record, perform and release our four collaborations and commissions with Jeffrey Brooks. Three of the pieces are four large mixed ensembles – After the Treewatcher; Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother; and The Passion. The fourth piece, Skeleton Key, was written for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, our resident ensemble who will also act as backbone for the larger groups.

Bang on a Can had the pleasure of getting to know the work of Minneapolis based composer Jeffrey Brooks early on in our now 30 year history. Brooks was one of the first composers we ever presented on our Bang on a Can Marathon back in 1987. We commissioned him in the 1990’s to write a piece for our ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars. That was the beginning of our commissioning love affair with his music. In ways big and small, his work embodies the spirit and essence of Bang on a Can itself. Restless, intuitive, spiritual, searching, curious and open to every possible sound in the world.

Jeffrey was diagnosed with Parksinson’s several years ago. In typical Brooks fashion he set about finding ways to compose despite the physical challenges that changed nearly everything about his life. Seven years ago, we commissioned him to write a major new piece – After the Treewatcher – that was premiered at our 25th Anniversary Bang on a Can Marathon at the World Financial Center. The piece starts out with a 12-string electric guitar line! It’s absolutely extraordinary in every way. We simply needed more music!

With the help of the Thelma Hunter Fund in MN, we were able to commission him two more times. Capriccio for A Dear Departed Brother and The Passion stand as testaments to Jeffrey’s talent and orchestration skills. The premieres at our Bang on a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA drew sustained standing ovations. These pieces deserve an audience as wide as the world itself. We want to make that happen, with both physical and digital recordings that honor the quality of the compositions.

Each of these three larger pieces has upwards of 20 players, and The Passion adds three vocalists. We have identified the core Bang on a Can All-Stars (Ashley Bathgate, cello; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano; David Cossin, percussion; Mark Stewart, guitar; Ken Thomson, clarinets) and a cadre of stupendous musicians as our ensembles. Esteemed conductor Brad Lubman will likely take the baton. We expect to record with Damian Le Gassick at the Power Station in NYC (now managed by Berklee School of Music, interestingly). The recording will be produced in summer of 2018, just after the performance of two of the pieces at our 2018 NYC Marathon.

We will perform the works prior to recording at our 2018 Bang on a Can Marathon! And we will release the record on Cantaloupe Music in all formats, including vinyl. We hope to have the record out by spring of 2019.

Project Media

Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother
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This is a live recording of the world premiere of one of the pieces to be recorded. Performers include a combination of faculty and fellows of the Bang on a Can 2014 Summer Festival at MASS MoCA.

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Features: Jeffrey Brooks

Dreadnought · University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Ensemble
University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Ensemble: Blue Dawn Into White Heat
℗ 1998 Innova
Released on: 1998-01-01
Conductor: Craig Kirchhoff
Ensemble: University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Composer: Jeffrey Brooks

The Passion
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This was the world premiere this past summer – 2017 – at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at MASS MoCA. Live recording.

Jeffrey Brooks – Composer
The Passion
(In three movements)
World Premiere
Brad Lubman (conductor) (piccolo) (flute) (clarinet) (bass clarinet) (alto saxophone) (French horn) Mark Stewart (electric guitar) (percussion x 4) (Vicki Ray (piano) (organ) (vocals x 5)

Start and End Dates



New York, New York

1 update
Last update on November 16, 2018

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new.  Since its first Marathon concert in 1987, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found.  With adventurous programs, it commissions, performs, presents, and records new works, develops new audiences, and educates the musicians of the…

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Record Company
Brooklyn, New York


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