Brant will conduct 'Rainforest,' his 'spatial oratorio'

April 30, 1991|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff

Henry Brant is an American composer who ventures a bit beyond the ordinary chamber music or orchestra setting. Why not music in Amsterdam canals, he figures.

His "Fire in the Amstel" (1984) involved four boatloads of 25 flutes each, four jazz drummers, four church carillons, three brass bands and four street organs in a three-hour aquatic procession through the Amsterdam canals.

For his "Meteor Farm" (1982), Brant pulled together expanded orchestra, two choirs, jazz band, African drummers and singers and South Indian soloists.

Brant is most noted for something called "spatial music" where singers and players are placed throughout the hall as well as on stage. Baltimoreans can get a taste tomorrow.

The American Camerata for New Music will perform the East Coast premiere of Brant's "Rainforest," a "spatial oratorio" at 8:15 p.m. tomorrow in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at Towson State University.

Brant and John Stephens will conduct the work as part of Towson's "Brave New Works" series. Also scheduled are "Dichotomy" (1933) by Wellingford Riegger and "Concerto Arabesque" (1930) by John Becker.

Brant worked in more traditional music from 1947 to 1955 when he taught orchestration at the Juilliard School and Columbia University. He began writing spatial music in 1950 and has composed more than 70 such works.

More recently, he expanded to newer areas and drew the comment from the Wall Street Journal, "Whatever Cristo is to the visual arts, Henry Brant is to music." Tickets are $8, $5 and $3. Call 830-ARTS.

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