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Kitty Brazelton

Composer

For pioneering NYC composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Kitty Brazelton, music is personal, and the personal is universal. Winner of two Opera America America awards for Female Composers, the Copland Fund for Music and an NPR-broadcast choral commission from world premier choir VocalEssence, among others, the irrepressible Brazelton has always championed music’s power to unite—across genre, across tradition, across language. As a teenager studying Tzotzil, a language spoken by the Maya in the remote mountains above the Yucatan, Brazelton began to believe in a kind of universal language that would transcend boundaries. This spirit of radical inclusivity has propelled her dazzling work across decades and into the now, shapeshifting from 70’s psychedelic chamber-folk Musica Orbis and ‘80s anthemic new wave Hide the Babies to 9-piece electroacoustic Dadadah and ‘90s cyberpunk trio What is it Like to Be a Bat?

Most recently, after leaving teaching to compose full time, Brazelton has been delighted to team with Boston-based MASARY Studios to provide music for fours hours of live a cappella choral music for FirstWorks Providence RI’s street festival. in early December 2023. She wrote two hours—”we sang it twice!” During multi-media installation Recursion and Release, attendees physically embarked on an immersive journey through spatialized sound and light as they explored three separate environments of the venerable (1847) downtown Providence Grace Church campus—digital audio manipulation, video projection and dynamic lighting designed by collaborator Jeremy Stewart, MASARY. In the sanctuary itself, strikingly unamplified but generative source for sound and light throughout, Brazelton’s vocal quintet sang newly composed polyphony, with text from American Buddhist Jack Kornfield’s guided “Meditation on Letting Go.”