The NixWorks ensemble hails from the tranquil Pioneer Valley of Franklin County in Greenfield, Massachusetts. NixWorks has performed in venues around the world and is highly reknowned. An avant gard, multi media performance ensemble, with contemporary music and multimedia effects.

music ensemble



The NixWorks Ensemble

Michael Nix: Banjar, Guitar, Mandolin, Composer,
Tracey Physioc Brockett: Poetry, Narrator


The NixWorks Ensemble was formed in 1998, bringing together multiple creative influences and genre: music composition, performance. poetry, theater, film and visual art.


Michael Nix has performed traditional classical repertoire, new classical, and original music on guitar, lute, banjo and mandolin, in concert halls throughout the United States and Asia. He has composed solo music, songs, chamber music, symphonic works, electronic music, and opera. Nix designed the seven string Banjar, combining elements of the classical five string banjo, the lute and the classical guitar. His awards and commissions includes a 2002 assignment by The Ann Sorvino Dance Project, for a dance work commemorating the 9-11 tragedy. In 2004, he was resident composer and string master at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, MA. Nix was awarded grants to perform "New Music From the Northeast", a program of original music and works by composers from New York and New England. In 1991 he was selected as Massachusetts Music Teacher's Association composer of the year. Nix is currently on the Massachusetts Touring Program, and as a lute and guitar soloist he was on the New Hampshire Touring Program . He was a featured performer for the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society's Andres Segovia outreach program. In the mid 1980's, Nix formed Mythos, a flexible chamber ensemble performing newly composed and older chamber music. Nix wrote the libretto for a children's opera, "Liombruno" with music by Salvatore Macchia, premiered at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1989. In 1988, he performed at the Bushnell Hall in Hartford CT, commemorating a 1931 Andres Segovia performance. Nix produced a John Cage memorial theater piece in 1992, incorporating musicians, dancers, visual artists, and improvisational theater.

 

Although primarily a visual artist, Tracey Physioc Brockett began her music studies at the Orff School in Toronto at the age of four, and by her early teens, she was studying violin, and piano and music theory through the Royal Conservatory at the University of Toronto and ballet at the Royal Academy. After a brief stint at the Art Institute of Boston, she received her B.A. in History from Mount Holyoke College. After a year at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Physioc Brockett won a residency for painting and poetry at The Cummington community of the Arts, and later, the Vermont Studio Center.

The NixWorks Ensemble

"It was very appropriate and authentic and funny and touching and we were glad to be there..." Tom Leamon in a letter to Merce Cunningham about Nix and Brockett's 1992 John Cage memorial concert.

"Many thanks for making 'Hartford's Official Millennium Celebration - First Night Hartford 2000', such a huge success." Hartford First Night 2000 committee.


The NixWorks Ensemble was formed in 1998 by Michael Nix and Tracey Physioc Brockett to perform
multi-media and technology
based works. Both Nix and
Physioc Brockett have
backgrounds in classical arts but felt constrained by the traditional concepts of
theatre and classical music.

 

Nixworks brings together
multiple creative influences
and genre-music, performance, theater, video, and movement.

 

The members of Nixworks have formed collaborations with dancers, poets, painters, artists, theater artists, and musicians.

multi media performance

contemporary ensemble

muusic ensemble

 

Performance Pieces

The Very

Rich Hours

hear an excerpt:

(NOTICE: at 56K this takes about 4 min to download)

Vespers

(mpeg coming soon)

Preview

Journey-Man's

Program

(mpeg coming soon)

Preview

Small

Moon

(mpeg coming soon)

Preview

 

Michael Nix Biography

Guitarist/Composer Michael Nix has gained attention for his performances of new classical music for acoustic, amplified and electric guitars alone, with tape, and other technologies. Wedding classical technique and technology, Nix performs new works in a program of original music and music of contemporary composers with classical, jazz, minimalist, and avant-guard influences.

Michael Nix's composition
blends traditional classical
tradition with influences from folk, jazz, world music, and avant garde classical music, influenced by early
study of avant garde
theater (Ionesco, Albee) and electronic music (Carlos, Babbit, Riley).

Interest in performing his own music sprang from a conversation with Steve Reich at a composer's
conference in New
Hampshire.

Since 1979 Michael Nix has brought varied programs of classical guitar and lute music to diverse audiences. He has performed throughout the United States and Asia, including appearances on television and public radio.

Nix is currently on the Massachusetts Touring Program as a member of The Moser/Nix Duo, performing music for mandolin and guitar. As a member of the Monadnock Classical Guitar Duo and as a soloist he was on the New Hampshire Touring Program for four years. He was a featured performer for the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society's Andres Segovia outreach program "The Guitar About Town.

He was a founding member of Mythos, a flexible chamber ensemble performing newly composed, and older chamber music.

He writes as a composer, opera librettist, and music critic. Nix completed the libretto for a children's opera, "Liombruno" with music by Salvatore Macchia. Liombruno was premiered at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1989.

In 1983 he was co-conductor and soloist with the 24 piece guitar orchestra at Keene State College. In that year the orchestra performed a tour of the Philippines, Hong Kong, and California with guest soloist Alice Artzt. The group performed in concert halls, on television, and made a recording for Radio Hong Kong.

In 1988, he performed a concert at the Bushnell Hall in Hartford CT, commemorating Andres Segovia's 1931 performance in the Colonial Room Concert Series. Madam Emilita Segovia was the honoree guest at the performance.

In 1991 he was awarded grants to perform "New Music From the Northeast", a program of compositions by composers from New York and New England.

He was the Massachusetts Music Teacher's Association's composer of the year for 1991. He composed the song cycle "The Very Rich Hours" open poetry by Sue Standing, for Soprano, cello, and amplified guitar for the MMTA.

Nix produced a John Cage memorial concert in 1992 incorporating musicians, dancers, visual artists, and improvisational theater. Tom Leamon in a letter to Merce Cunningham said "very appropriate and authentic and funny and touching and we were glad to be there..."

In 1994 he composed a setting of "Three American Folk Songs" for the Providence (RI) Mandolin Orchestra premiered at the University of Connecticut, which the orchestra performed on a European concert tour of American mandolin orchestra music.

Recently Nix has formed the NixWorks multi-media performance with visual artist, poet, videographer Tracey Brockett. They are now forming "The Multi-media Project" an arts non-profit to promote concerts and creation of multi-media performances. 

For more information email us:

info (at) nixworks (dot) com

 

Physioc Biography

Although primarily a visual artist, Tracey Physioc Brockett has extensive knowledge of the performing arts, particularly music and movement. Absorbed by intellectual study of the creative process, and an interest in the history of artistic "communication" within society, she seeks to distill the textures of human experience into a new language.


Physioc Brockett began her music studies at the Orff School in Toronto at the age of four, an experience she credits with her love of rhythm and interpretive movement. By her early teens, she was studying violin, and piano and music theory through the Royal Conservatory at the University of Toronto and ballet at the Royal Academy, when illness and a move to the U.S. forced a change of direction.


Drawing and printmaking and poetry by turns became her interests, and after a brief stint at the Art Institute of Boston, she received her B.A. in History from Mount Holyoke College, where she discovered also an all-absorbing interest in painting, and a glimmer of how all her varied interests might some day be combined in a historical context.


After a year at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Physioc Brockett won a residency for painting and poetry at The Commington community of the Arts (now defunct) in western Massachusetts, and later, the Vermont Studio Center.


A recipient of several grants and solo shows, she struggled with her feeling of frustration that the modern cultural arts, for various reasons suffers from a damaging alienation from the common experience. Discussions with other artists led to the formation of NixWorks, with Michael Nix, to explore art both as a reference point and a common language in modern society.

 

About The NixWorks Ensemble

The ensemble was formed in 1998 by Michael Nix and Tracey Physioc Brockett to perform multi-media and technology based works. Both Nix and Physioc Brockett have backgrounds in classical arts but felt constrained by the traditional concepts of theatre and classical music.

Earlier collaborations between Nix and Physioc Brockett tended to be one-time, site-specific performances; Theatre Piece After John Cage ( For Seven Artists In Any Medium) in 1992, and Ritual Objects For A Vernal Equinox, a private fundraiser with sculpture, poetry and music in 1993 for example, were much like the guerrilla theatre pieces Nix had staged while in college. Nix had also formed Mythos, a flexible musical ensemble in the late 1980s but it was not big enough in scope to satisfy him, and he retired it after its inaugural New England tour. At the time, Nix was also working with dancer Ann Sorvino in several projects, including Position Three, which included painting and poetry.

Physioc was experiencing her own frustrations with the limitations of hanging a visual art show, frustrations with the linear aspect of two-dimensional art. She had been exploring ideas of time and space and narrative, that both looks back and presages the future, and views things from all angles, ideas she kept from early literature studies at The University of Toronto, and which she found expanded upon in Inuit Art, where a single painting might have all the elements of the beginning, middle and end of a story in the same painting. Her early studies of music , theatre and dance led her to begin work in video, After telling Nix of an experience she had while listening to music in her studio, and getting a glimpse of visual images that unfolded much like vignettes with cross references in time the way a novel or piece of music builds upon what has already passed, the music/video collaboration that is the heart of NixWorks performance pieces. began. Nixworks performances may include live, recorded, synthesized and computer generated music, poetry, visual art, stage props, theatre, dance and video.


The whole program is meant to be experienced as a meditation. It is realistic only in as much as it connects the audience with the real perceived world, abstract enough that it allows for a connection with the viewers's inner life.

 

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