Brett Carson is a composer, pianist, improviser, and occasional theater artist based in Oakland CA. His work, which has been described as "fascinatingly intense" (Stephen Smoliar, SF Classical Voice), explores the intersection and juxtaposition of diverse conceptual strata delving into the realms of myth, ritual, and unconscious impulse. Drawing from a plurality of influences, including Sun Ra, Olivier Messiaen, Captain Beefheart, and the literary work of André Breton, Jorge Luis Borges, and J.R.R.Tolkien, he seeks to establish alternative logical systems and cosmologies.
In addition to his compositional work, as a pianist he has worked in new music, free improvisation, jazz, and rock contexts. He has performed and/or recorded with a number of musicians including Bill Baird, Brian Baumbusch, Nicolas Collins, George Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell (and the Art Ensemble of Chicago), Rent Romus, and William Winant.
Recent projects include the jazz/improvisation group Quattuor Elephantis and a mytho-dramatic song cycle "Mysterious Descent". Recent works for theater include the 2017 premiere of his one act play, "Mary's Dilemma, or That Sinking Feeling," and the 2018 premiere of his experimental chamber opera "Just Visiting (X-Ray Vision)". His newest project, an apocalyptic piece about the last days of the ancient Koktimô civilization is set to debut in late 2019.
"Confusing, absurd and occasionally beautiful – like existence itself, and the weird myths we create to explain it." - Lexi Glass, KFJC
"...Carson mixes modern classical music, traditional song form, and old-timey melodrama. It’s all presented with a sense of high drama but there are also touches of silliness and absurdity..." - wedgeradio.wordpress.com