Original compositions for piano, woodwinds and strings

UNDULATIONS (for string orchestra)

Published by Furore Music - Germany
Performed by the Da Chiesa orchestra - Lausanne Switzerland

This piece was premiered in Australia in 1990 by the Ars Nova Orchestra in the Blue Mountains NSW and has since had performances and airplay both in Australia and in Europe.

"We are a Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland, called Da Chiesa. We are very proud to play your 'Undulations' in five concerts near Lausanne in December 1996 and January 1997. We enjoy your music and just wanted to congratulate you".
Natalia Hasler (Secretary of the orchestra)

The work was also performed in Sydney several times in 2005 and 2006 by the Sydney Sinfonietta under the direction of Anthony Clarke including at a concert in the Utzon room in the Sydney Opera House on the 24 and 25th of June 2006.

It was also performed again in Heidelberg, Germany in 2006 by the orchestra of Gedok. (The Society of the Association of Women Artists and Art Friends)

Two Movements. Running Times: I 5:08 II 4:09 - Total 9:17

Undulations - First Movement. Track 1 [5:08]
The title of this work comes from the wave like motion of the themes. It reflects the composer's love of the water and particularly the Australian beaches. The first movement is a Theme and Variations on an Adagio theme beginning in D minor tonality and ending in E Dorian tonality.

Undulations - First Movement. Track 2 [4:09]
The second movement is more animated, making use of syncopated ostinati figures, superimposed with floating melodies. To unify the work, the second movement finishes with a varied repeat of the E Dorian section from the first movement.

When Spirits Soar. Track 3 [5:33]
For Alto Saxophone and Piano. Published by Furore Music- Germany
Performed by Andre Shrimski - Alto Saxophone and Margaret Brandman - piano.

This work received its premier performance at the Third Australian Conference and Festival or Women in Music, held at Sydney University in September 1998. The work was written following the completion of a course in Rei-ki, the art of energy transmission through the hands. The music demonstrates some of Margaret Brandman's interests in Music as a healing force.

The work is a one movement through-composed work which moves through four main sections. The piece opens with a wash of sound from the sustained piano chords, over which the Saxophone plays a theme in the Dorian mode on D.

The second section, (at letter C) is a little more rhythmic, with the piano setting up an ostinato using cluster chords, to underpin the melody. Next, both instruments explore the theme until the high point of this section, which is where the sax sustains the high E (sounding as G) for four bars. The effect of this is that the listener takes a long breath while hearing the sounds, and consequently achieves a better state of relaxation.

The third section (at letter D) is loosely based on the material from the second section. The section becomes more lively with the addition of 16th-note material and soaring figures. The final section marked Coda (at letter E) has a cadenza-like passages which draw on material from the opening section. The work finishes with a long improvised cadenza played by the Saxophone and piano.

Images. Track 4 [2:02]
Performed by Andre Shrimski -Soprano Sax & Margaret Brandman - Piano

This is a lively jazz influenced work in ternary form. The Saxophone and Piano share the syncopated opening theme, which is contrasted with a more lyrical central section of the work. It finishes with a return to the opening theme.

Winter Piece. Track 5 [6:32]
Piano solo for left hand alone, performed by Margaret Brandman
From 'Three Concert Pieces for piano'

This meditative piece was written for solo piano to be played with left hand alone. The minor key effectively conveys the cool and dark feeling of a winter's day while interesting effects are achieved by cluster chords and modern harmonies.

The premier performance was in September 1995 at the Australian Piano Music Concert held at Sydney Town Hall.

Five solo piano pieces each one exploring the sound of a four-note chord and the mode which suits it.

* Weaving. Track 6 [1:28]
This piece uses the dominant 7th chord, in progressions moving around the cycle of fifths, and the occasional chromatic movement. The feature mode is the Mixolydian Mode.

* Beaming. Track 7 [2:01]
The aural flavour of this piece is achieved by the use of the Major 7th chords, on the 1st, and 4th degrees of the scale. The modal or scalic section demonstrates how the Major Scale ( Ionian Mode) and the Lydian Mode can be used of these chords.

* Dreaming. Track 8 [1:46]
This track demonstrates how one diminished 7th chord shape can be used as a link between four seemingly unrelated keys. The chord used is C diminished 7th. When inverted the chord can also be seen as, E Flat diminished 7th, F sharp diminished 7th and A diminished 7th chords. The keys used in the piece are B Flat, D Flat, E Major, G Minor and back to the original B flat key. The tune uses a broken left hand figure, and makes use of the other chords covered in the earlier tunes.

* Gliding. Track 9 [1:49]
This tune uses both Major 6th and Minor 7th chords, which are in fact inversions of one another. The title comes form the gliding movement of the Right Hand Melody line, which use triplets to glide through the D Sixth chord. The rhythmic features of the tune include eighth note triplets followed by either straight eighths. The scalic section uses Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian and Aeolian modes.

* Gleaming. Track 10 [1:29]
The featured chords in this piece are the Minor 6th and the Half-diminished seventh chords. The piece has a modern feel to it, and could be accompanied by a light eighth note-rock rhythm. Features of the tune include syncopation. It is a through-composed piece, in four main sections. Which begin at Bar 1, Bar 11, 22, and 30.

Reflections. Track 11 [6:12]
Piano solo performed by Margaret Brandman
This work is a quite rhapsodic. The opening three note motif consisting of a rising step followed by a 5th, appears throughout the work in different guises. Features of this work include Contemporary harmonies, canonic writing and ostinato patterns.

Arioso. Track 12 - piano solo [5:45]
By J.S.Bach. jazz arrangement by Margaret Brandman
Included in 'Three Concert Pieces for Piano'
This longer concert work, is a rather rhapsodic work. The opening three note motif consisting of a rising step followed by a 5th, appears throughout the work in different guises. Contemporary harmonies, canonic writing and ostinato patterns all feature in this work.

First Star at Twilight. Track 13 [2:35]
(Jazz piano solo)
This piece includes the extension chords, 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths, with alterations to create rich harmonic effects. The form of the piece is ABACA. The opening chordal section is in 4/4 and is contrasted by the B section in 6/8 time, which uses arpeggiated left hand chords. The C section makes use of a sequence, the melody of which is voiced first in the soprano part, and next in the inner voice (alto). This section continues with an eight bar section in straight timing. The final A section uses an embellished melody over the original chord structure, and builds to a climax, finishing with a final D major 13, sharp 11 chord, arpeggiated in fourths.

Jucaro Rhumba . Track 14 [1:13]
(Latin-american piano solo)
This piece is in the key of B Flat Minor. The tune is in Modified Binary form, beginning with a four bar introduction which sets up the Rhumba rhythm. The melody is stated first in the middle register of the instrument, and then repeated an octave higher. The second section modulations to the relative major key, and finishes with a reference to the original melody.

Sonorities. Track 15 [4:27]
This rhapsodic contemporary piano solo, was written in memory of Jazz legend 'Bill Evans. It explores the rich harmonies that can be created on a keyboard and makes use of interesting chord clusters, which were a feature of Evan's playing, rippling figures and extensive flourishes. The final section builds to a climax with a syncopated chordal section, followed by a reuse of early figures which establish a quiet and haunting mood. Lastly, there are three arpeggiated chord flourishes and the whole work ends on an open E major chord, overlaid by a C major triad, which encourages some interested harmonics to come forth from the instrument.

Evanescence. Track 16 [1:33]
(Jazz piano solo from Contemporary Piano Method Book 3)
This is another work in the Jazz idiom, and is played with a swing feel. The tune explores the movement of chords around the cycle of 5ths, as well as several chromatic chords movements. It also makes use of 9th chords and altered chords, to add a rich flavour to the harmonic scheme. The form of the movement is AAB which is repeated and finishes with the final chords repeated three times, a device often used in popular music.

Tango Tranquille. Track 17 [3:08]
(Piano solo from Six Contemporary Pieces)
Following a rhapsodic opening section, the B section of this piece settles into the Tango rhythm which is then followed by a hypnotic ostinato figure using fourths and fifths in the right hand, underpinned by a syncopated sixteenth note melody played by the left hand. The pieces finishes with a restatement of the tango theme, in a higher key.

Sunshowers on the River. Track 18 [5:02]
(Piano solo from Six Contemporary Pieces)
This piece is a set of variations on a Pentatonic or five-note Scale, in the less usual time signature of 7/4 time. Each section is treated differently, with the styles ranging from chordal to contrapuntal, with a variety of interesting rhythmic sections and a free improvisatory section before the final unison statement of the theme

Tender Secrets. Track 19 [2:44]
This tender ballad is one of Margaret's solo songs in the jazz standards genre. Tender Secrets is a modal work performed by soprano Cherie Valaray, accompanied by the composer on piano. Music and Lyrics are both by the composer.

More and More. Track 20 [3:34]
More and More is a medium tempo eight-feel song with a baion rhythm in the bass. It in the jazz standards genre for mezzo soprano voice and piano. Lyrics by Cheryl Adlard. The work is performed by soprano Cherie Valaray accompanied by the composer on piano.