Important collaborations – JOHN GRACEN BROWN

Meeting with American poet & writer John Gracen Brown in Washington D.C.

April 14, 2011.

First personal meeting after working together by mail since the early 2000’s – Here John and Thomas outside Union Station, Washington D.C. (Photo by Nida)

About John Gracen Brown

American poet and writer JOHAN GRACEN BROWN is primarily known for his works in poetry which has been used extensively by composers throughout the world. Over the years, much of his biblical drama has received attention and use through various media. There has been some exposure through reprinting, publication, radio, stage and public television.

Works for voice and organ or string ensemble

The poems “By the Sea at Night”,  ”The Eve of the Day”, “Late Autumn” and  “DEATH”  set to music by Thomas Åberg are available in versions for mezzo-soprano/string ensemble and mezzo-soprano/organ. “DEATH” is also available in a soprano-version. Sheet music available through Swedish Music Information Centre. For orchestra versions – contact the composer and he will assist you!

NEWS 2016: ”By the Sea at Night” and ”Late Autumn” are also available in versions for tenor.

Lunch in Washington D.C. – from left Nida, Thomas, John and my dear old friend Woddy in D.C.

Listen to some of the works

HANNE MARIE LE FEVRE, mezzo-soprano

https://www.poetryofnow.com/
LATE AUTUMN (excerpt)
Music by Thomas Åberg. Lyrics by John Gracen Brown
Organ: Mads Wadmann. Recorded by Henrik Winther 2016
Listen on Soundcloud

HANNA-MARIA STRAND, mezzo-soprano

BY THE SEA AT NIGHT (2002) 15’
Music by Thomas Åberg. Lyrics by John Gracen Brown. Version for mezzo-soprano and string ensemble (instr. Eyvind Hallnäs).
Mezzo-soprano HANNA-MARIA STRAND, LUNDS NYA KAMMARORKESTER, JOHAN-MAGNUS SJÖBERG, conductor.
Recorded in Allhelgonakyrkan (All Saints Church), Lund, February 13, 2011.
Listen on YouTube

DEATH (2011) 7’
Music by Thomas Åberg. Lyrics by John Gracen Brown. Version for mezzo-soprano and string ensemble (instr. Eyvind Hallnäs).
Mezzo-soprano HANNA-MARIA STRAND, LUNDS NYA KAMMARORKESTER, JOHAN-MAGNUS SJÖBERG, conductor.
Recorded in Allhelgonakyrkan (All Saints Church), Lund, February 5, 2012.
Listen on YouTube

LATE AUTUMN (2012) 9′
Swedish mezzo-soprano Hanna-Maria Strand performing ”Late Autumn” by Thomas Åberg (music) and John Gracen Brown (lyrics). This recording was made in Engelbrektskyrkan Stockholm on July 30, 2013. At the Allen-organ: Thomas Åberg. Sheet Music (also to a version for string ensemble) is published by Svensk Musik/Swedish Music Information Centre.
Listen on YouTube

KARIN GUDBRAND, mezzo-soprano

BY THE SEA AT NIGHT (2002) 15’
Music by Thomas Åberg. Lyrics by John Gracen Brown. KARIN GUDBRAND, mezzo-soprano and the composer, organ.
Recorded at rehearsal in Allhelgonakyrkan (All Saints Church), Lund, June 18, 2006.
Listen on YouTube

LARS KRISTOFFERSSON, alto saxophone

THREE PIECES ON POEMS BY JOHN GRACEN BROWN (2014) 18′
(By the Sea at Night – DEATH – The Eve of the Day)
LARS KRISTOFFERSSON, alto saxophone and the composer, organ. Recorded in Engelbrektskyrkan, Stockholm, March 2, 2014.
Link to playlist on YouTube

INSTRUMENTAL (string ensemble) synth. demo = not performed live yet

A SUMMER STORM (2017) 9′ – based on a poem by John Gracen Brown
Listen to demo on Soundcloud

Alone

I sit alone
in the shadows
of the old house.

Within and Without

There is a silence
within…
but a storm
is
brewing
without.

excerpt from ”A Summer Storm” (The Retreat, 2015) by John Gracen Brown

JOHN GRACEN BROWN – one of the finest poets in the US!

Thomas showing the latest Swedish recording with ”By the Sea at Night”. Photo by Nida.

Special thanks!

Special thanks to Mr. John Gracen Brown for his encouraging correspondence over the years! Many thanks also to my friend and colleague Johan-Magnus Sjöberg and Lunds Nya Kammarorkester who launched the orchestra versions and made the pieces known to a wider audience. Many thanks also to my dear friend & mentor of this project Eyvind Hallnäs who made the instrumentations to the orchestra versions. Many thanks also to mezzo-soprano Hanna-Maria Strand for her advice and support during the composing of “Death” and “Late Autumn”!

Finally, thanks to all of you who have been involved in the performances of these works; Sharon Lind (premiered By the Sea), Hartwig Barte-Hanssen, Angela Kentsch, Karin Gudbrand, Lars Kristoffersson, Hanne Marie Le Fevre, Henrik Björlin (video DEATH) and Nida (video By the Sea …).

God bless you all!
Thomas Åberg

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