Elizabeth Brown writes the only music I know of in which the flute might be playing ‘London Bridge is Falling down’ while the cello is sliding through a long glissando underneath, yet nothing feels incongruous. There’s a kind of imaginary quality to her music.
It’s as if not only each piece but each passage is based on some strange conceit: a bird sings while a pianist plays Mozart and a cellist shakes like a bowl full of Jell-O. Each conceit morphs into the next in a stream of non-sequiturs, and yet every juncture is smoothly blended, no seam visible. It’s elegant, quiet, thoughtful, well-crafted music, and as bizarre as hell. Imagine walking into a Magritte painting: fish protrude from the vase instead of flowers, the chairs are bolted to the ceiling, but the wallpaper is lovely and the furnishings tasteful.
That’s a little what listening to Elizabeth Brown is like.Kyle Gann, Chamber Music Magazine