Achordial Brio – Innovative Classical Music from 7 Virtuosi

This is NOT your dad’s Classical Music!  Founded with the goal of performing live with innovative compositions, styles, and techniques unique from classical music while retaining a foothold in the niche of New York City’s classical music realm, Achordial Brio combines the aforementioned ideas with the talents of seven virtuosi. These classically-trained musicians orchestrate their sounds, blending instrumental voices with influences from various genres, divergences in styling techniques, and energetic chord progressions. Voiding the prim feeling classical music can emote, genres of pop, jazz, indie, and even rock influence the composition process. This is done to help redefine the classical instruments’ capability in performance of sound, energy, and passion. Achordial Brio formulates an ebullient ensemble capable of representing the full scope of today’s musical diversity.

They can be seen around New York City and frequently perform at LGBT events. Pätrick Kiernan is a gay composer and musician based in NYC, with Achordial Brio.  

Our Guest Author this week, C. GIBSON,  recently had the pleasure to sit down with this talented (and cute!) young gay man to talk about his interesting work.  Thier conversation follows below.

I thank you for talking with me.  I’ve seen Achordial Brio play at a few benefits this year.  I was curious to your affiliation to the LGBT events I have seen you at.
[laughs] First, I want to thank you for having me.  Our affiliation to the events is through interest of the organization or request from someone within the organization.  We’ve played for an HIV benefit at Splash, a variety show for Project Achieve, signed up for The Community Research Initiative gala in New Jersey.  So someone at one function sees us and sometimes leads to an invite to play at another.  We don’t play exclusively gay events only.  Though, I’m most excited for playing at the Human Rights Campaign’s gala this year at the Waldorf.  It’s going to be a highlight for me with Achordial Brio.
Do you write all the music for the group?
 As of right now, yes.  I am pushing Pete, our violinist, to create some works for us.  He actually has a background in composition, unlike me.  He’s incredibly talented and comes from a focus in genres I have elementary knowledge of.  I’m really excited and curious to what he could write for us.
Do you have a process to your composition?
 Honestly, I don’t most of the time.  Music is very much a numbers game to me, and I have an affinity to prime numbers.  I write a lot of things based around 1, 3, 5, and 7, either in chord or beat or cued by a measure number.  I tend to create a general formula and then fill in accordingly based on how I want a piece to develop.  With that said, I don’t go into writing a piece knowing what I specifically want.  There tends to be a draft, revision, and completed score which then goes to rehearsal to be tweaked further.
Where do you see yourself branching out in music?  Do you have ambitions to be a conductor?
 Conduct? Heavens, no.  [laughs] Conducting is best in someone else’s hands other than my own.  Outside of playing or writing I suppose I would like to move into installing new artistic direction.  I’d love to do something with a field marching band.  I do have composition goals for a full scale symphony piece and perhaps a seven movement work made of seven concertos highlighting each of the instruments of Achordial Brio.

What do you see for the future of music?
 I think the traditional classical standards played by musicians in their tuxes in a formal semicircle will always exist.  With that being said, I also do believe there is a growing and widening interest for new contemporary music and music which is interactive to other senses, primarily with sight.
Where do you see Achordial Brio?
 Just with the direction I think instrumental music will evolve into their future mainstream, I want Achordial Brio to have a space to workout what I’ve always wanted it to become. Think, Barbara Walsh’s version of Company where the pit musicians are more involved with the stage part of the show.
What is music to you?
Could you please elaborate more?
 You’re encouraging my sesquipedalian nature.  [laughs] Music, to me, brings out a raw and grandeur feeling.  It’s the soundtrack to all of my inner monologues and streams of consciousness.  Scored melodies can provoke primal expressions including a range of joy, sadness, fear, and compounded combinations.  Music can clear a polluted emotional state as quickly as a verse turns to chorus.  Lyrics can validate.  Chord progressions embody empowerment.  Music has the power to orchestrate reflection to my darkest thought and simplistic view simultaneously.  Music is enchanting.  It’s premium.  Music is a multifaceted entity on its own; a web of which I am often intertwined in.  [pasuse] Music equates passion to me.
What has been your most interesting performance to date?
 A single most interesting? [pauses] It’s hard to pick just one.  I’ve been in a marching band that literally got into a brawl with disgruntled and belligerent Notre Dame football fans after a game on their field, or the time a fiberglass sphinx head swung down from the ceiling of stage we had dress rehearsal on and broke a rib of a tuba player, or tripping backstage only to look up from the ground at a smirking Vanessa Williams… [pauses] Actually, the most interesting performance I’ve been a part of was one that went off without an unforeseen event.  I played in the Requiem for Fred Rogers.  It was a moment where I got caught up on reflecting on my childhood and this man who was connected to it through television.  I mean, come on, I grew up watching ‘Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood’, and there I was playing a piece commissioned because of his death and in honor of his life. It was a surreal performance, and thus my most interesting.
Let’s get in a few light questions.  What do you listen to during a workout?
 [laughs]  For cardio I tend to repeat the soundtrack to The Hours and for any weights I listen to Justin’s, ‘Cry Me a River’ and Incubus’, ‘Dig’ on repeat.  Though the library goes on shuffle eventually.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
 Hands down, my biggest pet peeve is being late.  Whether I am unexpectedly held up or others are atrociously late beyond 10 minutes or do worse by cancelling at the scheduled time, I find it incredibly rude and disrespectful of an affected person’s time due to irresponsible  scheduling.
What is your favorite word?
Are you single, taken, or dating?
 [laughs] How boldly intrusive of you.  I’m single.

You can see Achordial Brio 

May 23rd 9:00pm Red RoomRed Room East Village, NY $10.00  
June 27th 9:00pm Red RoomRed Room East Village, NY $10.00

Listen to the work on their site!

Follow them on Facebook!

Thanks  to C.Gibson for the interview.


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