Streams Thursdays at 3 pm and Sundays at 8 pm on Q2 Music
Brad Balliett and Doug Balliett — identical twin composers and performers from Massachusetts — have been performing together and collaborating for nearly thirty years. As bassoonist and double bassist (respectively) they perform as a duo and with groups all around New York, including the new music ensembles Deviant Septet, Metropolis Ensemble, Argento, Signal, and Alarm Will Sound, with chamber ensembles The Declassified and Ensemble ACJW, with symphonies such as Handel & Haydn and the Hartford Symphony, and a host of other diverse ensembles.
Dedicated rappers, the brothers, along with Elliot Cole, make up The Oracle Hysterical and create pioneering hip-hoperas, rap cantatas, poperas, and so forth. Performances of these works have taken them around the world.
The Balliett brothers are fiercely competitive and work tirelessly to one-up each other. This drive creates a self-fueling passion to write the best work, listen to the best music, and learn as much as possible. They are thrilled to be joining Q2 Music's roster of personalities.
The Brothers Balliett have a ten-point Manifesto which will guide this show:
1. We are the Brothers Balliett.
2. We believe that the best music is the music that excites the best curiosity, excitement, passion and conversation.
3. We believe in music that bears repeated listening and offers something new with each visitation.
4. We believe that stretching the ear is a way to stretch the mind.
5. We believe in the continually ceaseless creativity of composers everywhere.
6. We believe that music must reflect the time in which it was written, and that all eras deserve representation.
7. We believe that great nations should strive to attract and support great artists.
8. We believe in absolute artistic freedom, unfettered by trend or dogma.
9. We believe that the power of ideas, creativity, and personality can shape a city's character.
10. We believe in the groove.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Listeners, there will come a time when you meet a composer or new music enthusiast with a little bit of attitude – an attitude that suggests that the spiky, abrasive, modernist language that we all know and love is the only true lingua franca of new music, and that those who write tonal music do so naively, without considering the weight of history that tonal music carries. (Consider Alex Temple's recent discussion of this topic on New Music Box)
Thursday, January 09, 2014
This week, the Brothers Balliett take a listen to one an oft-misunderstood instrument: the harpischord. Listen at 3 pm for performances by 17th century composer Froberger, songstress Joanna Newsome and Czeck composer Viktor Kalabis.
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Today at 3 pm, The Brothers Balliett take a look at some of their favorite releases from 2013, including music from Bang on a Can, International Contemporary Ensemble's Rebekah Heller, David Fulmer and more.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Special for the holiday season, this week The Brothers Balliett offer music designed to accompany the obligatory fire-staring that is so much a part of this time of year. This music is designed to help you zone in, zone out, forget the world and focus on the fire.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Charles Wuorinen befriended Edgard Varèse and Igor Stravinky in his youth and has collaborated with the likes of Salman Rushdie and Annie Proulx. Today at 3 pm he joins the Brothers Balliett for an interview and listening session.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
If there's one thing that the Brothers Balliett have learned from Rothko, it's that monochromaticism, in art OR music, is not necessarily a bad or boring thing. This week we explore ensembles built entirely of one sound color. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Does an aural representation of geography exist, or does "landscape" take on a new meaning when applied to music? Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett explore landscape music by John Cage, Harrison Birtwistle and Brian Fernyhough.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving isn't just about tryptophan-induced comas – it's also about cultures meeting and deep grooves. This week, in a special Thanksgiving edition, the Brothers Balliett honor that early American meeting of cultures with three pieces that exemplify cross-cultural connections.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett talk to composer and Guggenheim recipient Alex Mincek, who's collaborated with Yarn/Wire, JACK Quartet and Wet Ink among others.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
This week, the Brothers gaze into the universe of contemporary music's rising stars. Listen at 3 pm for music by Stuart Breczinski, Carson Cooman, Jacob Gotlib and Lansing McLoskey.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Last January, the Brothers Balliett presented the Grown-Person's Guide, examining the orchestra one section at a time. By popular request, this week, they add more recent and usual instruments to their rundown. Featuring the ondes martenot, barrel organ and a music box ensemble. Listen today at 3 pm.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
This week, the Brothers are joined in the studio by composer Ray Lustig, a composer who is in constant dialogue with the past while also drawing on concepts of modern disease and internet latency. Listen today at 3 pm.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Whether you're looking for an orchestra made entirely of samples, broken-down Bach, or full-scale hip-hopera, Gene Pritsker is your man. He's orchestrated the Cloud Atlas film and had his music premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic. The Brothers sit down to talk shop with Pritsker Thursday at 3 pm.
Thursday, October 03, 2013
Today at 3 pm, The Brothers Balliett delve into the deep end and listen to some of the most exciting music being written today for those stalwarts of the subterranean: the cello and double bass.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
There's one instrument that you love in secret, behind closed doors, and when you hear the silvery high notes at an orchestra concert, a veritable thrill of delight massages your soul. This week the Brothers Balliett explore everyone's favorite woodwind instrument: the flute.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
For some American composers, the string quartet just isn't going to cut it. This week the Brothers Balliett listen to quintets by two Americans: bassist, composer and MacArthur fellow Edgar Meyer and Pulitzer-prize winner John Harbison.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Thursday at 3 pm, The Brothers Balliett toast the return of the "season of learning" with a show that focuses on music by current composition students from around the country.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
In the last fifty-or-so years, composers have explored an exceptionally wide range of expression in music for solo voice. Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett feature vocal music by Milton Babbitt, Harrison Birtwistle and Philip Glass.