upcoming events

(US) Going Under is my 2020 piece for 6 flat-gongs (gangsa) based on data mapping the numbers of Covid-19 infections during the first three months of the pandemic in 6 US states. A video of its first performance earlier this month in Oakland, CA has just been released online as part of the “Composite By the Numbers” series curated by Dayang Yraola in Metro-Manila, Philippines.

While its structure involves a sonification of clinical data, the twenty-minute piece is a meditation on the passing away of human lives we have been living through during this pandemic, and a sonic ritual focusing attention on the healing qualities of time and nature.

Thanks to all my collaborators on the piece: Johanna Poethig, Philip Perkins, Anne Perez, Brenda Hutchinson, Suddhu Tewari, Carly McLane, Brendan Glasson, and especially Dayang Yraola.

news / press

Chris Brown: Models Are Never Complete

Despite his fascination with extremely dense structures, California-based composer Chris Brown is surprisingly tolerant about loosely interpreting them. Chalk it up to being realistic about expectations, or a musical career that has been equally devoted to composing and improvising, but to Brown “the loose comes with the tight.” That seemingly contradictory dichotomy informs everything he… Read more »

Gratkowski-Brown-Winant Trio

The main focus of the Gratkowski-Brown-Winant trio is the process of instant composing. All three musicians have extensive backgrounds in both composed and improvised music, which allows them to compose pieces with a clear inner structure collectively on the fly. Besides clarinets, saxophone, piano and vibraphone, the trio also features live interactive electronic processing and percussion instruments like gongs, tam tams, bells and tympani. Sometimes the instruments are used with extended techniques to blend into a sound-world which makes it hard to tell who is playing what.

Interview: Chris Brown, by Gino Robair, Keyboard Magazine, January 2017

“My interest in new musical resources has changed from being based on timbre, rhythm and interactive electronics to pitch relations. I came to that with the skills I acquired tuning pianos in equal temperament for many years, and wanting to push past that.” As a composer, pianist and computer programmer, Chris Brown integrates a mixture… Read more »

Van-Anh Vo and Chris Brown

Van-Anh Vo and Chris Brown at the Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival April 9, 2015 In April 2015 duo of Van-Anh Vo and Chris Brown will be featured at the Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival, where they travel with support of a USArtists International grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Van-Anh Vo and Chris Brown are musicians and educators who have… Read more »

Music of the Lost Cities

by Johanna Poethig and Chris Brown (2014) Music of the Lost Cities is a psycho-geographical, mixed-media narrative that explores pre and post apocalyptic urban and natural landscapes through imaginary characters named “the sub-colonials” who move through past, futurist, and surreal environments. Like everything else in our late stage capitalist colonial culture, time has been commodified,… Read more »