I’ve been meaning to put this one together for a long time, and now the time felt unavoidable. This weekend’s listening is an ordered collection of Anthony Braxton’s numbered compositions as far as I can find them on Spotify, from 1 to 377 (and counting).
I know close to nothing about Braxton’s music, and its sheer quantity and diversity is extremely daunting to a relative newcomer like me. It is rather like approaching Bach, or Merzbow, for the first time. But a journey of a thousand miles and all that …
Some notes. First, this list includes only those numbered compositions which are identified as such on Spotify. I found quite a few other pieces by Braxton, but identified/titled in other ways. I am nowhere near qualified to know if or where these should go in the list.
Second, quite a few of these recordings feature more than one work at once (using the collage or ‘constructor set’ approach that Braxton adopted in the late 1970s, in which more than one composition could be performed simultaneously). I’ve placed these in the list according to whichever work number is mentioned first on the track title.
Third, some of these pieces are available in more than one recording/performance. Where those versions are very similar (for a subjective value of ‘similar’) I’ve chosen just one recording. Where they are significantly different, I’ve included both.
Finally, this is a massive playlist – over 71 hours of music. (It dwarfs even my complete Cage list.) You will need much more than just one weekend to listen to it all. And even more Braxton may be purchased on the New Braxton House Bandcamp page.