Battle Trance: Blade of Love

January 21, 2017
8:00 pm
Live Arts Los Angeles

Battle Trance's Blade of Love is an elemental composition that aims to fulfill the tenor saxophone's expansive potential as an ensemble instrument. Working within the intimate intersection of the human body/breath and the saxophone, Blade of Love is a spiritual and enigmatic work with a deep emotional resonance.

Equal Sound finds the connections between this brand new, major work for a saxophone quartet from New York and some of the oldest known western music, beginning with the chants of Hildegard von Bingen, who lived in the 1100s, through the liturgical music of the middle ages by way of Machaut, and into today with pieces for string quartet from Caroline Shaw and Aleksandra Vrebalov.

Battle Trance: Blade of Love, with the Isaura String Quartet, presented by Equal Sound


HILDEGARD Von Bingen: O Vitus Sapiente
Caroline SHAW: Valencia
Aleksandra VREBALOV: My Desert, My Rose
Guillaume de MACHAUT: Kyrie I
BATTLE TRANCE: Blade of Love


Battle Trance

Battle Trance had an auspicious inception. One morning, Travis Laplante (Little Women and a trio with bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Ches Smith) literally awoke with the crystal clear vision that he needed to start an ensemble with three specific individuals: Matthew Nelson, Jeremy Viner, and Patrick Breiner. Laplante was actually unfamiliar with their work as musicians and had only a minimal relationship with them as individuals. He was also aware that a band of four tenor saxophones could be the worst idea ever. In spite of this, Laplante followed through and contacted Nelson, Viner, and Breiner. He gave them very little information beyond his morning experience. But no one hesitated - the ensemble formed that evening.

Additional performers

Madeline Falcone, violin
Emily Call, violin
Diana Wade, viola
Betsy Rettig, cello