On 4 September, Slagwerk Den Haag and I will premiere Gods of Bird, my new 30-minute work for percussionists and live electronics. It is performed entirely on Atelier van Lieshout’s Early Bird sculpture, with the concert taking place in the sculptor’s atelier in Rotterdam.
The percussionists play the role of three gods, descending from the heavens to help guide the four terribly lost Early Birds. Each bird believes itself to be a solitary genius, forging ahead in its own direction while climbing the rusty corporate ladder of late-stage capitalism. The birds are unaware of the fact that we are all welded together.
Spent these corona times writing a new 30min composition 'Gods of Bird' for 3 percussionists (Slagwerk Den Haag) + electronics (yours truly) to be performed on Atelier Van Lieshout's Early Bird sculpture. 4 September we're bringing it to life!! 🎉🎉🎉Would love to share the premiere with you, in Rotterdam at AVL Mundo: God Of Birds by Brendan Faegre & Slagwerk Den Haag
Press reviews and a live video of our new multidisciplinary music theater piece A Manual Towards the Truth are now online. This work is inspired by the destruction of truth in the social media environment, and the moral dilemmas created by the newly required job of Content Moderator.
“★★★★…gripping” – NRC
“With tons of energy they tell two stories together while singing and speaking…a mental assault” – Theaterkrant
“The design of this performance is sleek and streamlined with an eye for detail…the singing is crystal clear…perfectly performed in the audiovisual field” – Klankgat
With the Edge Ensemble, we will premiere our new soundtrack to F.W. Murnau’s silent film Sunrise at the EYE Film Museum and the Sounds of Silence festival.
We divided the film into 6 acts, where each act has one unique emotion that grows or fades in intensity as the act progresses. This sequence of emotional intensities serves as the score on which we improvise the soundtrack.
With baroque violinist Lucia Giraudo, we have just released our first track as switched, a new project channeling baroque dance music through a contemporary prism. Lucia takes a historical approach to the violin part. I add drums, making the meter of the dances explicit. And through processing and a monosynth, we bring baroque dance into the soundworld of electronic music.
Here’s our take on the Allemanda double from J.S. Bach’s Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor.
For high-quality audio, download the track via Bandcamp:
A new music theater installation collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Robin Coops and percussionist Jonathan Bonny was selected for Silbersee’s SPR!TZL program. The program awards a budget of € 15,000, coaching by the Silbersee team, and a final performance in July 2019 at the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ in Amsterdam.
Our project will be based around the horrific experiences of Facebook content moderators and the gradual self-destruction of truth in the social media environment. A central theme will be transforming the digital into the physical, on musical, visual, conceptual, and social levels. Stay tuned for more info..
I’ll be presenting my first-ever solo show Broken Mirrors at pioneering Dutch festival Cross-linx this year. I’ll play it 3 times per night in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Eindhoven. Looking forward to sharing the festival bill with Stargaze, Poliça, Daniel Wohl, and many other fascinating artists.
The Edge Ensemble’s new production The Wind was selected for the 2018 Classical:NEXT Showcase. After the excellent experience performing at the Club Showcase last year with Bow Hammer Connection, I’m looking forward to presenting a larger project at “the most viable international gathering place for open-minded music-focused people.” (Frank J. Oteri, New Music USA) Other showcase artists this year include Roomful of Teeth, Gabriel Prokofiev, and Molly Joyce.
This March I will join the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (led by Roger Kalia) to premiere my new work Analog Intelligence, an orchestral reworking of ‘Dubstep’, ‘IDM’, and ‘Drum ‘n’ Bass’ from my Dance Suite in G. Their principal percussionist and I will be downstage, far-right and far-left, to give a more ‘close-miked’ sound and to play with some stereo echo effects.
As part of an exhibition celebrating Dutch sculptor Auke de Vries’s 80th birthday, Slagwerk Den Haag asked me to compose a new work based on one of Auke’s concepts: a conversation between the bells of a carillon and elevated percussionists. The percussionists surround the carillon on balconies, rooftops, and in the street, showering the city with their sounds from 30 meters above. From the Asphalt to the Spires will premiere next month with SDH and The Hague’s virtuosic carillonneur Gijsbert Kok.
This May the Edge Ensemble will premiere five freshly commissioned works inspired by games and human play. The new pieces from Genevieve Murphy, Ethan Braun, Christopher Fox, Harry Stafylakis, and me each showcase five deeply personal interpretations. From the financial games of Goldman Sachs, to a composer joining us on stage playing bagpipes, this program expresses the diversity and profundity of play in the human experience. Here are two composer interviews below, and you can watch the rest on the Edge Ensemble Facebook page.
Conversing with Genevieve Clare Georgina Florence Murphy about her new piece 'Violent push of an unpredictable strategy' for Edge + Genevieve on bagpipestopics include: bagpipes, working with timbre through experiencing it, trying to win
In collaboration with Slagwerk Den Haag and Club Guy & Roni’s Poetic Disasters Club, Music For Bars begins a 10-bar tour around the Netherlands this Autumn. The production is a 60-minute amplification of sonic, physical, and social elements of The Bar. It combines composed, improvised, and curated works for 3 percussionists, 3 dancers, and a backing track, all of whom explore and break the boundaries of “normal”.
The New York Times wrote a review of my new orchestral work Collective, premiered by the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall, led by Joshua Gersen. The obligatory one-liners are: “darkly exhilarating” and “especially empowering”. Read the full review here.