Drop a Pebble in the Water (Excerpt) - Aiyana Braun
Performed by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Yue Bao in March, 2018
Drop a Pebble in the Water is a piece which is all about ripples. It’s about how our actions or inactions resonate and amplify to impact the world which surrounds us, and the people that we’re surrounded by. We are in an especially trying time socially and politically, and so when writing this work, I was moved by the thought that something as small as a pebble can have a resounding impact on the body of water which surrounds it.
Full Duration: 11 min.
Instrumentation: Full Orchestra, 2222 - 4221 - 3 Perc. + Timp - Hrp - Amplified Prepared Piano - Strings
Waves - Aiyana Braun
Performed by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Carlos Ágreda in April, 2017
Program Note: Waves was the name of my fathers dance company which he ran for 12 years in Philadelphia. I have always been inspired by his choreography, and the influence of dance in my creative process has been vital. When I think of waves, I of course, think of water. I am moved by the idea of something which can both be incredibly ruinous, yet also so meditative, vast, and beautiful. I wished to encompass all of these aspects of water within this piece, and to capture the raw power of the orchestra; rendering a synthesis of lyricism and optimism in the face of an overwhelming force, which takes form in a wall of sound. Throughout this work there are moment of intense fixation and frustration, which eventually melt into a meditation, ultimately yearning for a sense of hope.
Full Duration: 7 min.
Instrumentation: Full Orchestra, 2222 - 4221 - 3 Perc. + Timp - Hrp - Pno - Strings
One Horizon - Aiyana Braun
Commissioned by the Berkeley Symphony performed at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive under the baton of Ming Luke, choreographed by Laura O’Malley for the Berkeley Ballet Theater in March, 2018
Duration: 8 min
Instrumentation: Chamber Orchestra, fl, ob, cl, bs, hn, tpt, perc, el gtr, hrp, 2 vlns, vla, vc, cb.
Memories in Sand - Aiyana Braun
Commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic in David Geffen Hall (then Avery Fisher) under the Baton of Case Scaglione, May, 2013
Program Note: I was honored to have the opportunity to write my first orchestral work for this occasion. This composition was influenced by the recent passing of my beloved grandfather. “Memories in Sand” is a tribute to the summers we would spend together as a family at the beach, thanks to my grandfather, and all of the wonderful memories we shared together.
Duration: 3 min.
Instrumentation: Full Orchestra, 2222 - 4221 - 2 perc. + timp - hrp - strings
chamber + electronics works
Meditation - Aiyana Braun
Written for the Zora Quartet and Chelsea Komschlies (vocals) under the mentorship of Tod Machover (MIT Media Lab). Premiered at the Curtis Institute of Music, May, 2018
Program Note: When writing “Meditation,” I was drawn to the idea of incorporating the calming presence of breath through the amplified vocalization of the strings, and having treated vocals contrarily represent a moaning motif representing inner turmoil throughout this work. I hoped that these two musical ideas would come together to capture the simple-complexity of what it means to find a sense of peace within this unintelligible world.
Duration: 5 1/2 min.
Instrumentation: String Quartet, Treated Voice and Loop Pedal
Commissioned by Jon Deak and Eric Bartlett of the New York Philharmonic. Recently recorded at the Curtis Institute of Music in May, 2018 (originally written in August, 2014)
Program Note: This piece was commissioned by Jon Deak and Eric Bartlett who I was fortunate to work with a few years ago when I had the opportunity to write a piece for the New York Philharmonic. I was thrilled by the opportunity to write a cello quartet for their event “Cellofest!”, and created “Abrasions,” a work in three movements which outlines the process of something being worn away. The first movement is quite harsh, aggressive, and eventually leads to the third movement which in contrast is very lyrical, and meditative. I like to think this third movement reflects the core of who we each are as individuals, once the stresses, aggravations, and great weight of everyday life is stripped away.
Duration: 6 min.
Instrumentation: Cello Quartet
Ruminations - Aiyana Braun
Program Note: This piece is about an individual who is not quite able to express the intensity of his emotions, but feels an urgency to speak to the hate and indifference which surrounds him. This work begins with this individual stuttering, stammering, and throughout the progression of this work he begins to quite literally find his voice with the assistance of a chorus of "others" who feel similarly haunted, and are represented by the vocalization of the musicians.
Duration: 20 min
Instrumentation: Baritone, String Quartet, Piano
Duration: 8 1/2 min.
Instrumentation: Clarinet, Cello, and Piano
Regarding Movement - Aiyana Braun
This short ballet was a commissioned by the Curtis Institute of Music in collaboration with the Rock School for Dance Education December, 2015
Program Note: Both of my parents are professional dancers/dancer teachers and so it has always been a passion of mine to write for dance. I have enjoyed collaborating with several choreographers since, and am grateful for this first opportunity to do so.
Duration: 7 1/2 min.
Instrumentation: Pierrot Ensemble + Percussion