Jack Briece - Four Songs on Poems by John Ciardi (Kate Maroney, voice; Red Wierenga, piano)



I. On Leaving the Internal Revenue Office
II. Choices
III. After A Fire
IV. On Roman Traffic


Praised for “vibrant and colorful” singing (The New York Times) and for “beauty of voice, coupled with her artistry and natural ease as a performer, that is always a joy to experience” (Seen and Heard International) mezzo-soprano Kate Maroney’s recent appearances include with the Pacific Symphony, Colorado Bach Ensemble, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, New York City Ballet, Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Symphony, Seraphic Fire, Berkshire Choral Festival, TENET, Carmel Bach Festival, Opera Grand Rapids, New York Baroque Incorporated at Trinity Wall Street, LA Opera, Lincoln Center Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Musica Sacra, Bach Collegium San Diego, Princeton Pro Musica, Bach Vespers Holy Trinity, Mark Morris Dance Group, Yale Choral Artists, American Opera Projects, Berkshire Bach Society, and Clarion. Kate has premiered works and collaborated closely with Philip Glass (toured the world from 2012—2015 as a soloist in Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach), John Corigliano, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Martin Bresnick, Julia Wolfe, Missy Mazzoli, Daniel Felsenfeld, Alex Weiser, Hannah Lash, Nina Young, Dominick Argento, Christopher Cerrone, Ted Hearne, and Scott Wheeler. She is featured on Grammy-nominated recordings with Albany, Naxos, and New Amsterdam Records, and recently recorded works of John Eaton in collaboration with the American Composers Alliance and the John Eaton Estate. She holds a D.M.A. from Eastman, degrees SUNY Purchase and Yale, teaches voice pedagogy at Mannes, and resides in Brooklyn with musician-husband Red Wierenga and new son, Ossian.

Red Wierenga is a pianist, accordionist, respectronicist, improviser, and composer based in New York City. His longest creative association is with the Respect Sextet, called “a group which has released one of the most compelling recordings of the year” by the Wall Street Journal, and “one of the best and most ambitious new ensembles in jazz” by Signal To Noise. He has performed and/or recorded with artists including The Claudia Quintet, Ensemble Signal, Bang on a Can Opera, the Fireworks Ensemble, and David Crowell. Wierenga builds and performs with new interfaces for electroacoustic improvisation, working with analog and digital synthesizers. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Harold Danko, Ralph Alessi, and Kevin Puts. After having studied at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague with Joel Ryan and Paul Berg, he received his Ph.D. from CUNY Graduate Center, where he was an Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellow and where his teachers included Jason Eckardt, Douglas Geers, and David Grubbs He has taught at Baruch College and currently teaches at the Brooklyn College Center for Computer Music and works for the music technology company ROLI.





Jack Briece (1945-1988) was a composer, organist and pianist, video artist, educator, and author, whose creative output was original and inventive. Born in Oklahoma City, January 28, 1945, Briece attended Kansas State College of Pittsburg in Pittsburg, Kansas where he earned his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance in 1967, and his Master of Music in Composition and Theory in 1970. He also studied at Fontainbleau with Nadia Boulanger in the summer of 1966, and at the New England Conservatory in the Master of Music program in composition during the 1966-67 academic year.

Jack Briece designed the music program for the Escuela Americana in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where he taught from 1967-69. In 1970-71 he was organist and music theory instructor at Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College in Texas. In 1973 he co-founded the MusicMusic Corporation with the mission of promoting new music composition and performance. The organization developed an international music exchange program with Mexico, Brazil, and England, in which Briece was active. In a letter to his parents in 1972, Briece describes the goal of an artists’ placement program “to give concerts, lectures and … rouse the general cultural climate.” These words, in short, also exemplify Briece’s own interests and indeed his successes.

He was also a member of the American Composers Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to American classical music, and publisher of American composers. With a foundation in the classical music tradition he also embraced modern 20th century innovations and championed John Cage among others. While some of his works take a more conventional approach, the influence of Cage is evidenced in others; moreover, he recorded Cage’s 62 Mesostics Re Merce Cunningham for 1750 Arch Records. In 1973-74 he began experimenting with the newly developing videotape medium. Throughout the seventies he produced several concerts and concert series such as Les Salons Vides and Nanny Goat Hill.

Jack Briece died of AIDS in Aptos, California at the age of 43 on March 26, 1988.



Four Songs on Poems by John Ciardi - Jack Briece
Recorded at home in Rochester, NY, July 2020
Kate Maroney, voice
Red Wierenga, piano
Mastered by Robert Scott Thompson, Aucourant Records.
Property of Shelter Recording Project, American Composers Alliance.
This recording generously donated to The Shelter Recordings by Kate Maroney and Red Wierenga.