The label debut from Tyondai Braxton, HIVE1 comprises eight pieces originally conceived for a performance work called HIVE that debuted at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2013 and evolved into HIVE1. The Washington Post has called Braxton "one of the most acclaimed experimental musicians of the last decade." Q calls the album "a sonically absorbing experience." NPR says: "[W]hat sets this album apart is its playfulness—the feeling that experimenting with sound is a joyful game."
Nonesuch releases HIVE1, the label debut from Tyondai Braxton on May 12, 2015. Written and recorded throughout 2013 and 2014, the recording comprises eight pieces that were originally conceived for a performance work called HIVE that debuted at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2013. The work evolved into HIVE1.
Following its New York premiere, HIVE was performed at the Sydney Opera House, the MONA FOMA festival in Tasmania, and London’s Barbican Centre as part of Nonesuch’s 50th anniversary celebration. The piece was created as a live multimedia work that was part architectural installation and part ensemble performance with five musicians sitting cross-legged atop their own space-age oval pods. Designed by Danish architect Uffe Surland Van Tams, each pod was programmed to complete the sonic mood of the piece with ever-changing LED light emitting through its perforated wooden walls. The piece derived its name, as Braxton told London’s Guardian, because "there’s a very social aspect to what’s happening in this project. Technologically speaking, the performers of the piece are very connected together."
Praised by the Washington Post as "one of the most acclaimed experimental musicians of the last decade," Braxton has been writing and performing music under his own name and collaboratively, under various group titles, since the mid-1990s. He is the former front man of experimental rock band Battles, whose debut album Mirrored was both a critical and commercial success. Since departing Battles in 2010, Braxton has focused on composing music for HIVE, as well as composing commissioned pieces for ensembles such as The Bang on a Can All Stars, Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, and Brooklyn Rider. In 2012, he collaborated with Philip Glass during the ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival. He has also performed his orchestral work Central Market with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and New York’s Wordless Music Orchestra.
Composed and recorded by Tyondai Braxton
Percussion recorded by Damon Whittemore at Flux Studio, NYC
Mixed by Damon Whittemore and TB at Flux Studio, NYC
Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering, London
Design by John Gall
Illustration by Heesang Lee
Photo: HIVE at the Guggenheim Museum, NYC 2013, by Ports Bishop
HIVE Pods designed and fabricated by Uffe Surland Van Tams
This album is available from Nonesuch Records for the world outside of Japan
Tyondai Braxton, synthesis, sampling
Ben Vida, modular synth (8)
Chris Thompson, percussion 1 (2, 3, 7, 8)
Matthew Smallcomb, percussion 2 (3, 8)
Yuri Yamashita, percussion 3 (3, 8)