The Literary and Ethereal Music of Brown & White

Composers Elizabeth Brown and Frances White will have their works performed in collaboration with the Momenta Quartet on Thursday, December 5th, 2019, 8pm at Brooklyn’s Roulette. As part of the celebrated Interpretations Series 31st Season, they will present an evening of works that blend sound and sight, both Western and Eastern in style, and steeped in literary and mythic origins.

The evening takes inspiration from 11th-century Persian epic Shahnameh, James Pritchett, W.G. Sebald, and poet Mark Strand, utilizing Interpretations founder Thomas Buckner narration and vocal skills.

Lothar Osterburg with Tower of Babel sculpture

Among several visual accompaniments, video and sculpture artist Lothar Osterburg has constructed a sculpture to pair with Elizabeth Brown’s Babel a fresh take on the Biblical myth. Rather than destruction, the pairing of music and visual presents the tale as cumulative growth, with New York City acting as a thriving analogue.


Watch a preview clip of Brown’s Babel with Osterburg’s visuals:

The program also makes excellent use of composer Elizabeth Brown‘s masterful prowess as a shakuhachi player.

This haunting Japanese flute is given a chance to shine in various works, such as Frances White‘s The book of the eveningand Brown’s own Dialect, for solo shakuachi, which makes its NY premiere.

Frances White’s world premiere of And so the heavens turned is not the first time she has directly collaborated with James Pritcher’s texts — for an example, check out The Old Rose Reader.

Her work has been called “seductive and hypnotic” (Music Works), and with its lilting string parts, this certainly follows suit.

This is also not the first time the Momenta Quartet has been summoned to bring Brown and White’s compositions to life. Please enjoy this clip of Momenta performing Brown’s Just Visible in the Distance.

For more of Brown and White:
Elizabeth Brown’s music page, with works and audio
Frances White’s SoundCloud and website

For the event’s official press release, click here.