Questionnaire of the rororo-Jazzlexikon 1999


 
(editor: Martin Kunzler)
Name (citizen name): John Wolf Brennan
Birthday/birthplace: February 13, 1954 in Dublin, Ireland
Instruments: piano, prepared piano, organ, melodica
Stylistic characteristics:
(catchwords)
"Kammer-Explosion" ("STANDARD", Vienna) avantjazz - "groove da camera" walks on the borderline between contemporary classical & jazz music, comprovised & imposed, celtic roots & european branches - folklore imaginaire & extemporisé, "calculated ecstasy"
"The Well-Prepared Clavier"
Education/studies:
  • Kantonsschule Luzern: Matura 1974
  • University of Fribourg, Switzerland: 1975-79
  • Swiss Jazz School, Berne: 1975-79
  • Royal Irish Academy of Music:
    Summer Classes 1977, 1978 and 1980 (Composition: James Wilson)
  • Conservatory, Lucerne: 1979-1984
    (Piano Diploma: January 1985)
  • Summer/Autumn 1983:
    CMS Creative Music Studio,Woodstock, NY, USA:
    (Karl Berger a.m.o.)
    1984: Residence in Berlin (West)
  • Academy of School- and Church Music, Lucerne:
    1985-87 (Diploma: Summer 1987)
    1988: Residence in New York City
  • Masterclasses in Composition:
    1992: Ennio Morricone (Music Academy Basel)
    1993: Edison Denissov (Fondation Hindemith, Blonay ;
    IMF Lucerne)
    1993: Composer in residence at the "Tyrone
    Guthrie Centre", Annagmakerrig, Ireland
    1994: Klaus Huber (Boswil; IMF Lucerne)
    1998: Heinz Holliger (IMF Lucerne)
Important gigs/Festivals: Vancouver ´98, Toronto ´98, Montréal ´98, Siracusa ´98, Bologna ´98, Pisa ´98, New York ´98, Blonay/Montreux ´97, Lentini ´97, Bolzano ´97, OggiMusica Lugano ´97, London ´97, 1ère Fête des Arts en Suisse Lucerne ´97, Mostly Modern Dublin ´97, FRI-ART Fribourg ´97, IMF (Internat. Music Festival) Lucerne '96, Alternativa Moscow '96, Ragusa '96, Bari '96, Stadtcasino Basel '95, Perugia '95, Terni '95, Salzburg '95, "Alternativa" Moscow '95, "Musical Spring" St.Petersburg '95, Boswil '94, Wien '94, Limerick '93, Dublin '93, Coleraine '93, Leipziger Jazztage '93, Lyon '93, Vienne '93, IMF Lucerne '91,"Accents" Dublin '91, Bolzano '91, Kiev '91, Lvov '91, Tallinn '91, Takayama Japan '90, IMF '90, Podewil Berlin '90 Biwako Japan '90, Willisau '90,  Montreux '89,   Montreux '88, New York '88, Darmstadt '88, Guinness/Cork '87, Villingen '87, Freiburg '85, Berlin '84, Bear Mountain Festival (NY) '83, Sarnen/Landenberg ´82
Records
(year of release)
cf. separate list (Discography)
Permanent groups: Pago Libre (quartet, since 1989)
Arkady Shilkloper - french horn (RUS)
Tscho Theißing - violin (A)
JWB - piano, melodica (IRL/CH)
Daniele Patumi - double bass (I)
Shooting Stars & Traffic Lights (quintet, since '93)
Alex Cline - drums, percussion (USA)
John Voirol - tenor & soprano saxopone, synthophone (CH)
Tscho Theißing - violin (A)
Daniele Patumi - double bass (I)
JWB - piano, melodica
OrganIC VoICes (duo, since 1989)
Gabriele Hasler - voice (D)
JWB - organ
guests: Peter Schärli - trumpet, flugelhorn (CH)
Christian Muthspiel - trombone (A)
Aurealis (trio, since 1995)
Robert Dick - flutes, bass flute (USA)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Daniele Patumi - double bass (I)
Pipelines (duo, since 1994)
Hans Kennel - trumpet, flugelhorn, alphorn (CH)
JWB - organ
Ten Zentences (duo, since 1990)
Daniele Patumi - double bass (I)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
HeXtet (sextet, since 1997)
Julie Tippetts - voice (UK)
Evan Parker - tenor/soprano saxophone (UK)
Peter Whyman - clarinet, bassclarinet (UK)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Paul Rutherford - trombone (UK)
Chris Cutler - drums, sounds (UK)
Piano Duo (since 1994)
Marianne Schroeder - piano, prepared piano (CH)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Piano Solo (since 1988)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Voirol.Brennan.Patumi (since 1998)
John Voirol - tenor & soprano saxophone (CH)
Daniele Patumi - double bass (I)
JWB - piano, melodica
Minute Age (since 1996)
Reto Senn - clarinet, bassclarinet, taragot (CH)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Margrit Rieben - drums, sounds, theremin (CH)
Brennan/Picard/Prévost (since 1997)
Simon Picard - tenor & soprano saxophone (UK)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Eddie Prévost - drums (UK)
Nisajo (since 1997)
Nicky Heinen - flute (UK)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Alexander Alexandrov - bassoon (RUS)
Chris Massey Group (since 1998)
Chris Massey - drums, percussion (USA)
JWB - piano, prepared piano
Giancarlo Nicolai - guitar (CH)
Carlos Baumann - trumpet, flugelhorn (CH)
Coleman/Brennan/Wolfarth (since 1998)
Gene Coleman - bassclarinet, clarinet (USA)
JWB - piano, prepared piano, melodia
Christian Wolfarth - drums, percussion (CH)
Compositions: cf. separate list
Other activities
(e.g. teaching)
  • Professor for Piano at Gymnasium Immensee, Central Switzerland (since 1989)
  • Professor for Piano at Musikschule Küssnacht, Central Switzerland (since 1980)
  • Workshops (ETH Zurich)
  • Lecturing (special topics: Aural Perception; The Double-bind of Improvisation and Composition; Time and Timing)
  • Publishing (special topics: Celtic culture; Minute Age - Archeology of the Present Time, Perception, Modern Angels, Modern Art)
  • Poetry
  • Music for Theatre and Dance Performances
  • Sound Installations, KlangObjEkte, Klangschiff, scHallenbad, Glockenspiel London
Additional informations:

Member of:

  • STV (Schweizerischer Tonkünster-Verein - Swiss Association of Composers
  • AIC (Association of Irish Composers)
  • SMPV (Schweiz.Musikpädagogischer Verband)
  • "Groupe Lacroix" - a group of six composers: Marianne Schroeder (Basel), Jean-Luc Darbellay (Berne), Christian Henking (Berne), Michael Schneider (Aarau), Michael Radanovics (Vienna)
  • SUISA (Swiss Copyright Society)
Family:

Married to Béatrice Wolf-Schmidlin (1988)
(classical pianist, studies with Werner Bärtschi)

Two daughters:
Móreen Mona (* 1992)
Enya Evanna (* 1995)

 

 

 

CH-6353 Weggis