Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011
There is little in the extensive catalog of Anthony Braxton that falls into a customary compositional milieu. His more recently formed conceptual structure, Echo Echo Mirror House (circa 2011), succeeds Ghost Trance Music and Diamond Curtain Wall Music as a platform for his unique system of coded composing and improvising. On 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011, each member of the septet has dual functions as they are armed with iPods, in addition to their more familiar instruments. What reads as being somewhat gimmicky on paper, works quite effectively in performance.

The more recognizable names in the EEMHM collective are cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, guitarist Mary Halvorson, violinist Jessica Pavone and percussionist Aaron Siegel. With the exception of Halvorson, they made up the earlier quartet version of the group. They are joined here by Jay Rozen on tuba and bassist/clarinetist Carl Testa.

The three compositions, on individual discs in the box set, each run just under one hour. Disc 1 is "Composition No. 372"; a dense layer of instrumentation giving way to a sing-song brass and reeds section. The electronics play a part that moves from the background to the fore interweaving with the traditional instruments. Disc 2's "Composition No. 373" opens darkly, descending into chaos and coming out on the other side with something approaching delicacy. Spoken voice overlays enter and a piano—presumably via iPod—adds a percussive influence that sets off the almost impenetrable layers of background effects. The final work is "Composition No. 377" and it has more passages that feel structured but they exist within a larger, more erratically organized universe. As iPod-generated audience applause drifts in and out of the frame, it begins to take on musical properties that work with and against other elements of the music.

3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 was recorded in 2011 at the state-of-the-art Firehouse 12 studios in New Haven, CT. The quality of the sound, given its intricacy, is astounding. Neither Braxton's music, nor his complex explanations of same, are easily digestible. His scores are as intriguingly searching as they are difficult and detached. Like so much of his work, this album may be beyond what many of us can comprehend, even if we enjoy the listening experience.

Track Listing

Disc 1: Composition No. 372; Disc 2: Composition No. 373; Disc 3: Composition No. 377.


Anthony Braxton: composer, sopranino, soprano and alto saxophones, iPod; Taylor Ho Bynum: cornet, flugelhorn, trumpbone, iPod; Mary Halvorson: guitar, iPod; Jessica Pavone: violin, viola, iPod; Jay Rozen: tuba, iPod; Aaron Siegel: percussion, vibraphone, iPod; Carl Testa: bass, bass clarinet, iPod.

Album information

Title: 3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Firehouse 12 Records

Post a comment about this album


Shop Amazon


Read Warmer Than Blood
Warmer Than Blood
Chris Montague
Read Off Brand
Off Brand
Collage Project
Read Iron Starlet
Iron Starlet
Connie Han
Read Expanding Light
Expanding Light
Whit Dickey Trio

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.