Composition 536: A Short Video of Anthony Braxton's Opera 'Trillium J (The Non-Unconfessionables),' Acts I & II @ Roulette (4/17/14)

By Logan K. Young on Apr 18, 2014 05:57 PM EDT

Yes, Ian told you this was going to be good.

Little did I know, though, that Anthony Braxton would out-Stockhausen, well, Karlheniz Stockhausen, himself.

For starters, Braxton's got his own foundation explicitly for the performance of his own work: The Tri-Centric Foundation.

Geesh, Stockhausen started his own post-Universal verlag, but not even he had the stones (RIP) for something like the first night of Braxton's newest opera totale.

Take a scrolling gander at the personnel; it's a grand number of forces, indeed.

Vocalists: Roland Burks, bass (Zakko), Kelvin Chan, baritone (Ashmenton), Tomas Cruz, tenor (Joreo), Lucy Dhegrae, soprano (Helena), Chris DiMeglio, baritone (Bubba John Jack), Kristin Fung, mezza (Alva), Nick Hallett, tenor (David), Kyoko Kitamura, soprano (Ntzockie), Kamala Sankaram, soprano (Sundance), Elizabeth Saunders, mezzo (Kim), Jen Shyu, soprano (Shala), Vince Vincent, tenor (Ojuwain)

Instrumental Soloists: Vincent Chancey (French horn), Jacob Garchik (baritone horn), Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Ingrid Laubrock (soprano saxophone), Domenica Fossati (flute),Oscar Noriega (clarinet), Dan Peck (tuba), Reut Regev (trombone), Stephanie Richards (trumpet), Katie Scheele (English horn), Josh Sinton (bass clarinet), Libby Van Cleve (oboe)

Dancers: Rachel Bernsen, Melanie Maar

Violin: Erica Dicker (concertmaster), Ginger Dolden, Sam Bardfeld, Sarah Bernstein, Julianne Carney, Jason Hwang, Mazz Swift, Scott Tixier
Viola: Amy Cimini, Jessica Pavone, Erin Wight
Cello: Marika Hughes, Tomeka Reid, Tomas Ulrich
Bass: Ken Filiano, Mark Helias
Flute: Leah Paul, Domenica Fossati
Oboe/English horn: Kathy Halvorson, Katie Scheele, Libby Van Cleve
Clarinet/saxophone: Mike McGinnis, Jim Hobbs, Ingrid Laubrock, Oscar Noriega, Josh Sinton
Bassoon: Sara Schoenbeck, Katherine Young
French horn: Nathan Koci, Vincent Chancey
Trumpet: Gareth Flowers, Stephanie Richards
Trombone: Jacob Garchik, Reut Regev
Tuba: Dan Peck
Percussion: David Shively
Harp: Jacqui Kerrod

Conductor/Composer/Librettist: Anthony Braxton

Producer: Taylor Ho Bynum . . .

the real star of the show {Editor's note}

Director: Acushla Bastible
Associate Director: Louisa Proske
Video Director: Chris Jonas
Associate Video Director: Dylan McLaughlin
Choreographer: Rachel Bernsen
Sound Design: Amy Crawford
Assistant Producer: Kyoko Kitamura
Production Assistant: Tyler Rai
Lighting designer: Yi Zhao
Costume designer: Nikki Delhomme
Stage Manager: Desiree Alejandro

Visual art? Check.

Gesamtkunstwerk even...maybe?

Here's Braxton's own synopsis (of course, he wrote from his own libretto) of the first two acts:

Act I:

At the completion of the intercontinental railroad in the antebellum era, a town's elite citizens gather to discuss the changing power dynamics of the next time cycle.

Act II:

In a depressed Midwestern town, the residents mount a pageant in an effort to build community.

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TagsAnthony Braxton, Trillium J (The Non-Unconfessionables), Roulette, Tri-Centric Foundation