Chris Brannick’s Top 10

In the run-up to NMB’s final gig of the year, we asked ensemblebash percussionist Chris Brannick to give us his Top 10 percussion tracks! Here’s how it rolls…

1. Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal (featuring Chris Brannick)
First, two videos featuring me. First with the amazing Steve Bingham, a cover version of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal that’s both funny and shows off a fair range of small percussion.
2. Stewart Copeland/Orchestralli – The Equalizer
One of the highlights of my musical career has been to work with Stewart Copeland, ex-drummer for The Police, now a film composer. He never switched off, always 100% in every rehearsal from downbeat to packing up – and he’s a really nice guy, too. This is from a tour of Italy, playing the title music to The Equalizer. When he hits a drum, it damn well stays hit.
3. Teddy Brown
Everyone should listen to the legendary Teddy Brown at some point in your life. I have no idea how he gets to play so fast and so accurately. Get any percussionist to watch the section at 2′ to the end – simply unbelievable!
4. Iannis Xenakis – Psappha
Difficult one this; I wanted a recording of Iannis Xenakis’ Psappha. Steve Schick does a brilliant job of playing it, but I’m not keen on his instrument choices, which all seem a bit small. I think the piece needs more drama. Still, a great performance.
5. Steve Reich – Drumming Part 1.
If only Nexus had made a video… that’s the classic performance. This is pretty good, though, and the opening is spectacularly tight.
6. Steve Reich – Sextet
I know I probably shouldn’t put two pieces by the same composer in, but Steve Reich’s Sextet is one of my favourite pieces to play. Very, very satisfying. I managed to play it to him as part of an ensemblebash concert some time ago… an amazing experience.
7. Ron Powell – Pandeiro Solo
It would be a real shame to miss out on one of my favourite percussion areas – frame drumming. Here’s a rather lovely pandeiro solo by Ron Powell. Worth it just for the first 10 seconds…
8.Edgard Varèse – Ionisation
The piece that probably started it all… Ionisation by Edgard Varèse, performed here by an expanded Amadinda – who are a fabulous group, but a bit serious.
9. John Cage – Third Construction
Another of my favourites that I couldn’t find in a version that ticks all the boxes… here’s Amadinda again. I find this performance all a bit fast and frenetic. but it’s very accurate indeed. And technically stunning.
10. Stephen Hiscock & Chris Brannick – Junkyard Samba
And lastly, I hope no-one minds a third one with me in it, but… ensemblebash playing Junkyard Samba, written by Stephen Hiscock and myself. Originally written for a TV programme called ‘What’s That Noise’, this piece still doing the round in various forms, playing whatever we happen to have to hand.

Chris Brannick

The Riot Ensemble Sat 31st Oct 5pm

Death of Light Light of Death

Date: Saturday 31st October; 5.00pm
Venue: St. Nicholas Church, Brighton
Jonathan Harvey’s “Death of Light, Light of Death” was inspired by Grünewald’s ‘Crucifixion’ in the Issenheim Altarpiece.  Harvey wrote that the “unflinching sense of catastrophe that hangs over this picture has given it a special appeal to the sensibilities of our own time.”  The Riot Ensemble returns to Brighton for the third consecutive year, to perform a concert centred around this beautiful and haunting music.  Other music will include composers from the New Music Brighton composers collective, Helen Grime’s Oboe Quartet, and NMB Composers Patrick Harrex, J.C. Clark, Peter Copley & Phil Baker.

Peter Copley In memoriam
Phil Baker Sequentia III
Patrick Harrex … dreams, shadows, and smoke
Jonathan Clark Fragment for a Violin Concerto 

Tickets will be £10 on the door.

Download poster PDF Death of Light Light of Death (5.2mb)

Music & Wine at St Lukes, The Ireland Trio

nmb poster2_Page_1

Friday 25 September at 7.30pm  – St Luke’s Church. Queens Park Road, Brighton – the Ireland Trio (Ellie Blackshaw, violin, Peter Copley, cello, Adam Swayne, piano) – in collaboration with Music & Wine at St Luke’s

Jonathan Clark Four Short Pieces for Piano Trio
Barry Mills Piano Trio
Georgina Bowden Forces Beyond Our Control
John Ireland Phantasie in A minor

Terence Allbright Piano Trio No.2
Phil Baker Study in Stripes With Boogie
Clive Whitburn ‘Elegy’ from Piano Trio
Peter Copley Piano Trio No.1
Ric Graebner Keep Clear

There will be a short pre-concert discussion at 7pm

£7 £5 £3

Website upgrade | redesign

Over the next few weeks this website is going to be upgraded and re-designed. The internet moves rapidly and we are endeavouring to improve how this website works with mobiles, tablets and other devices. If the site looks a little odd on occasion it’s because some upgrading is going on behind the scenes and a further announcement will be made when it’s complete.


NMB Podcasts

Having interviewed several composers and musicians associated with New Music Brighton for Radio Free Brighton a few years ago, I thought it would be of general interest to post the interviews on the NMB’s own website. Some of the original recordings from the radio programme (called MusTalk, incidentally) are included, but others are more recent, including interviews with Ken Jones, Barry Mills, Ric Graebner and Clive Whitburn. The interviews incorporate much of the music which is discussed so that anyone can listen and also hear the composers talk about it.

Composers and performers represented, or who will be represented are: Ken Jones, Ric Graebner, Barry Mills, Clive Whitburn, Peter Owen, Debbie Bridge, Helen Glavin, Roger Harmar. Several more are planned.

Phil Baker

Saturday 27th September, Church of the Annunciation

photos by Daniel Lawton

The Riot Ensemble | 14th October

At 7.30pm on 14th October, The Riot Ensemble returns to The Friend’s Meetinghouse in Brighton to present an exciting array of contemporary music for various combinations of flute, clarinet and string quartet.

With musicians Timothy Orpen, Riot’s Kate Walter and the Gildas String Quartet.

Other music includes the UK premiere of Augusta Read Thomas‘ Mansueto Tribute, ‘double helix’, Helen Grime’s To See the Summer Sky, the second movement of Luke Style’s Clarinet Quintet and an array of pieces from composers in the New Music Brighton Collective.

Jonathan Clark – 1st movement from Three Short Movements for Clarinet Quintet
Ric Graebner – Clarinet Quartet, 2nd movement
Patrick Harrex – A Klee Diptych, for clarinet and string quartet
Lee Westwood – selection of movements from Vignettes

Our next concert Church of the Annunciation,
Brighton Saturday 27 September

Our next concert is this Saturday at the Church of Annunciation, 89 Washington Street Hanover, Brighton BN2 9SR 7:30pm, in collaboration with them for their 150 anniversary festival.

Theatrical pieces, guided improvisations a bit of live looping, and an interesting line up of musicians, Roger Harmar fretless bass | Jevon Antoni-Jay voice | Clive Whitburn oboe + FX pedals | James Shenton violin | Phil Baker piano | Ric Graebner conductor



Tickets: £10 | £8 (concessions) | children free.
Tickets at the door

NMB Helen Burford piano 3rd September

Update 01.09.2014

With great regret we’ve had to cancel our concert on Wednesday 3rd September due to circumstances beyond our control. We apologise for the short notice but we hope to reschedule the performance at the Friends Meeting House at some future date and time but please tell anyone you know who was going to come, that the performance won’t take place on Wednesday.


NMBhelen burford_Page_1


We’re pleased to announce our next concert on the 3rd September at the Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton at 8.00pm with Helen Burford on piano.

Update: Please note new start time of 8pm

The full programme is below:
Georgina Bowden | Hymn for Piano
Jonathan Clark | Piano Sonata No 2 – The Medieval
Ric Graebner | 2 Impromptus
Ho Wan Jeremy Leung | Animal Suite
Barry Mills | 3 pieces for piano
Guy Richardson | Transforming

We hope to see you there.

Click below to download the poster – a black and white poster is also included in the pdf file (2.2mb)

Helen Burford poster


  1. Claudia Racovicean, piano

    January 16, 2016 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm