Brennan has recently started to make her presence known on the New York avant-garde – THE NEW YORK TIMES
Mexican born, New York-based vibraphonist, marimbist, improviser and composer Patricia Brennan has confirmed the release of her debut full length album Maquishti, January 15, 2021 on the Valley of Search label. See a live performance of album track “Magic Square” here.
The twelve original instrumentals that make up the album were composed and performed solo by Brennan on vibraphone and marimba. Employing unusual performance techniques and occasional electronics, many of the compositions were borne from improvisations created live in the studio at the time of recording. At times exploring silence and space, stillness and patience the album investigates new sonic territories with an endless sense of curiosity.
“This album is a personal statement not only as a vibraphonist but also as an improviser and composer,” says Brennan. “From bowing and bending pitch, to the use of extended effects via guitar pedals, this album reflects my vision for the vibraphone and the potential of all the possible ways it can be played. I wanted to not only incorporate all those techniques in the compositions but also wanted them to become part of my general improvisatory language.”
“Also, I wanted to incorporate pieces and improvisations played on marimba and feature that instrument mostly in an improvisatory environment which is usually very rare. However, I wanted to highlight the differences of both instruments and how their differences affect the approach as a composer and improviser. From rumba to Gyorgy Ligeti and Toru Takemitsu, this album also reflects my entire musical journey, all the influences that have shaped and continue to shape my musical vision and persona.”
“I decided to call this record Maquishti because it reflects my search for freedom in
musical expression it also speaks to my Mexican identity. “Maquishti” is a word inspired by the nahuatl word maquixtia which means to liberate, to free oneself mentally, spiritually and physically. Nahuatl is a native language from the south and central Mexico and it is still spoken in some communities in my native state of Veracruz.”
Brennan has always been surrounded by music. She inherited a deep love and appreciation for musical tradition from both parents, as well as being exposed to the musical richness of her native Port of Veracruz. She started studying music at 4 years old, playing latin percussion along salsa records with her father and listening to Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin records with her mother. Also, around the same age, she started playing piano, influenced by her grandmother who was a concert pianist.
At the age of 17, Patricia was selected from musicians all over the Americas to be part of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. During this time, she toured every country in the Americas and performed with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Paquito D’Rivera. Before moving to the U. S., Patricia was already performing with the top symphony orchestras in Mexico, such as Xalapa Symphony Orchestra and Mineria Symphony Orchestra.
Patricia’s search for freedom in her musical expression led her to find her voice through the vibraphone and mallet percussion in improvisational music and composition.
Patricia is a member of Grammy nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus. She is also a member of Phalanx Ambassadors, a project led by pianist Matt Mitchell, the Webber/Morris Big Band, and she is a member of Tomas Fujiwara’s 7 Poets Trio along with cellist and composer Tomeka Reid. She has collaborated with pianist Vijay Iyer as a member of Blind Spot with writer Teju Cole, along with bassist Linda Oh. Other projects led by Iyer that Brennan has performed with include his large ensemble project Open City and several small ensemble performances along with renowned musicians like bassist Reggie Workman and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.
Patricia has performed with many renown musicians including singer and composer Meredith Monk and Theo Bleckmann, saxophonists Jon Irabagon and Scott Robinson, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, drummer Marcus Gilmore, guitarist Mary Halvorson and many others. She has performed in venues such as Newport Jazz Festival, SF JAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, as well as international venues such as Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Patricia Brennan Online: