Bruce Brubaker & Max Cooper
InFiné set to release Bruce Brubaker and Max Cooper's Glassforms on June 5th.
Two leaders from very different musical worlds, the innovative pianist Bruce Brubaker and scientist-now-electronic-artist Max Cooper collaborate to create this latest expression of music by Philip Glass and tell a story of diversity and vulnerability.
Commissioned by and introduced at the Paris Philharmonie in 2019, Glassforms melds the acoustic concert grand piano with synths and cutting edge electronic production techniques to create a compelling album and a dynamic live experience.
Uniting an audience of club goers, post-classical aficionados, and seasoned piano music lovers with shows at Cité de la Musique in Paris, London’s Barbican, and Sonar festival in Barcelona, Glassforms received high praise. “Hearing Glassforms is a deeply moving, enlightening, spiritual experience,” said a listener. Others claimed that it was the “memory of a lifetime,” “unbelievably powerful, touching and provoking,” and “it is hard to express my enlightenment—no words describe it.”
Rather than just reworking or augmenting via traditional means, Max Cooper and Bruce Brubaker fundamentally rewire Glass’ forms in a manner that’s not possible with human composition tools. Max built a new system for musical expression through coding with software developer Alexander Randon, creating a tool for taking live data from the piano and transforming it into new but intimately related forms which drive his synths on stage.
The result is that each of the pieces by Glass becomes its own electronic “instrument,” an instrument Bruce plays in addition to, and simultaneously with the original piece. As Bruce plays the piano and controls synths with his playing, Max modulates and augments, sometimes adding his own melodies to form hybrid variants.
Max Cooper says, “I constantly wrestle with multiple layers of generative sound, every piece of music constructed as a living electronic organism which wanders through sound worlds under my direction, but never totally under my control. As a result, every piece and every show sounds different every time, and Bruce reacts to the new forms with expression and restructuring.”
To connect the composed pieces by Glass, Max, and Bruce improvise transitions, called “Preludes,” extending a long tradition of keyboard performers improvising introductions and transitions. Think Bach, Beethoven, or Franz Liszt.
As a result of the technology the musical content of each show varies greatly, a controlled improvisation with Max managing the chaos of real time information generated in response to Bruce’s live playing, blending computer-aided expression with acoustic piano sounds to make musical poetry.
Max Cooper: “It’s a balance between order and chaos, which for me, is where the most beautiful music emerges.”
About Bruce Brubaker:
With more than 125 million streams on Spotify, Bruce Brubaker reaches a large and diverse audience. According to Pitchfork: “Bruce Brubaker is one of the most exciting pianists in the contemporary American classical scene.” Brubaker has performed with Meredith Monk, Nico Muhly, and John Cage. Brubaker is featured on Nico Muhly’s album Drones and Meredith Monk’s album Piano Songs. Dance music and electronica artists, including Plaid, Francesco Tristano, Max Cooper, Olga Bell, Akufen, and Arandel have remixed Brubaker tracks.
Brubaker was one of the first solo pianists to play the music of Philip Glass. The New York Times wrote: "Few pianists approach Philip Glass's music with the level of devotion and insight that Bruce Brubaker brings to it, precisely the reason he gets so much expressivity out of it." In his continuing performances, from the Hollywood Bowl, and New York’s David Geffen Hall, to France’s International Piano Festival at La Roque d’Anthéron — Bruce Brubaker is a visionary virtuoso, and an artistic provocateur.
About Max Cooper:
Max Cooper’s work as a producer, live performer, DJ and label owner has made him one of the most important electronic musicians of the last decade. Cooper’s work probes the intersection between music, visual art and science. He draws on complex concepts and cutting-edge technology to unlock creative possibilities and create highly interdisciplinary projects which incorporate film-making, immersive light installations and psychoacoustic sound design and imbue his music with a remarkable level of humanity and catharsis.
His most recent solo project, 2019’s Yearning for the Infinite, explored the concept of infinity through sound, abstract surround visuals and web media. He’s been commissioned by and collaborated with the Barbican, Zaha Hadid Architects, Dolby Atmos and the Philharmonie de Paris, and collaborated with artists including Iris Van Herpen, Olafur Arnolds, Hot Chip and Michael Nyman – a varied range that reflects Cooper’s broad artistic vision and unique talent for making concepts engaging and mesmeric.
1_Prelude 1 - 01:01
2_Metamorphosis 2 - 07:19
3_Prelude 2 - 00:56
4_The Poet Acts - 04:24
5_Prelude 3 - 01:48
6_Two Pages - 10:50
7_ Prelude 4 - 03:44
8_Mad Rush - 13:06
9_Tirol Concerto - 02:14
10_Prelude 5 - 01:31
11_Opening - 05:39
A1_Prelude 1 - 01:01
A2_Metamorphosis 2 - 07:19
A3_Prelude 2 - 00:56
A4_The Poet Acts - 04:24
B1_Prelude 3 - 01:48
B2_Two Pages - 10:50
C1_ Prelude 4 - 03:44
C2_Mad Rush - 13:06
D1_Metamorphosis 3 - 12" version
D2_Tirol Concerto - 02:14
D3_Prelude 5 - 01:31
D4_Opening - 05:39
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