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 from a Sussex shore



NMB is pleased to announce the re-release of Music from a Sussex shore as a digital album – an album of piano works played by Stephanie Cant. It’s now available for download at our bandcamp site.

You can download in the format of your choice mp3, wav, aif, and flac and a redesigned set of liner notes in pdf format is included with the digital album. Please feel free to embed the album on your website or facebook page, Bandcamp has a share/embed button to help with this. Click on the cover above to hear the album.

Lee Westwood made one of Sound & Music’s New Voices

Our member, Lee Westwood has been commissioned through the ‘Portfolio’ scheme to write a new work for London-based choir MusArc, to be premiered this Summer at The Biscuit Factory, Bermondsey. In conjunction with this, Sound and Music have also made him one of their ‘New Voices’ featured composers for the period 2014-2015, and a selection of his works will be published by Composer’s Edition.

Congratulations to Lee

Also in March

‘A Hidden Order’ Exhibition, Prince’s School Of Traditional Arts, Shoreditch, March 19th – 27th.

A collaboration between composer Lee Westwood & geometer Sama Mara, exploring the relationship between music and geometry, resulting in a multimedia performance of a new suite for mixed ensemble where sounds are converted into realtime live graphics. Ensemble includes Philippe Barnes (flute), Suzie Shrubb (cor anglais), Adam Bushell (marimba/percussion) and Susie Winkworth (cello). Supported by the Arts Council and the Prince’s School Of Traditional Arts.

‘A Hidden Order’ the album available 1st February from