What Clients, Critics, and Collaborators are Saying…

What Clients, Critics, and Collaborators are Saying…

[Guqin Yoga/Meditation] “Everything is exactly as it should be. Breathe. Listen. Actively and peacefully exist. Swirls of yellows and limes invite you to reflect. Gratitude for this moment is deeper than can be expressed. Observing and participating in the peace that … Continue reading

Jessica Strauss, Playwright/Director

[Guqin Yoga/Meditation]  “I had the immense privilege of experiencing Brian’s musically guided meditation. The centering powers of the qin while masterfully and thoughtfully played by Brian invited me into a state of calm that had seemed unachievable previously. I am grateful … Continue reading

Jessica Strauss, Playwright/Director

[Dance/Theater Score]  “The Collaborative Process – Brian, has worked very closely with our directors to produce not only the kind of sound that a production needs, but the kind of score that transcends the page.   Commitment – Like an … Continue reading

Erin S. Baal, Board of Directors, Strollers Theatre Ltd., Madison

[Dance/Theater Score]  “I strongly recommend Brian Grimm and his work as a composer and collaborator. I worked with Brian on a unique project over an intensive six-month period in 2010 in which he created, composed, and played live onstage an … Continue reading

James Still, Writer and Director, Los Angeles

[Dance/Theater Score]  “Brian Grimm is a true collaborator. I highly recommend him as his expertise, generosity, and improvisational skills made him an integral element of Indiana Repertory Theater’s success with the production of ‘Mary’s Wedding’. Brian’s passion for music, narrative, … Continue reading

Gwendolyn Whiteside, Producing Artistic Director, American Blues Theater, Chicago

[Dance/Theater Score]  “There are very few artists that I trust implicitly, and Brian is one of them.  It’s amazing how much he can capture emotion and the human condition in those inanimate strings.”

Tommy Lewey, Choreographer & Director, NoExit Performance, Indianapolis

[Album Review]  “Madison, WI-based avant-jazz explorer BC Grimm is well known locally not just for his phenomenal cello work in live collaborations with artists like Julian Lynch, Spires That In The Sunset Rise, and the mighty Db Pedersen (to name … Continue reading

Signal Dreams, 2014

[Album Review]  “Madison-based multi-instrumentalist Brian Grimm specializes in playing the guqin and guzheng, Chinese zithers that sometimes run as large as a small canoe. He’s also a classically trained cellist and, under the name Brain Grimmer, produces adept and twisted … Continue reading

Arts Extract Podcast, 2014

[Album Review]  “Madison composer and cellist Brian Grimm’s meditative, experimental soundscapes blend modern improvisational styles with ancient Chinese string instrument technique. …Prepare to be transported into a beautiful dream.“

Isthmus Daily Page, 2016

[Album Review] “[Orbis Obscura] … builds, peaks, and resolves through a series of aural whirlwinds and jolting, churning dialogue between the ancient sonic traditions of a 2,000-year old instrument and a just-encountered effects pedal.”

Emili Earhart, Tone Madison’s “Top 20 Best Madison Records of 2016”

[Album Review] “Brian Grimm is something of an experimental-music powerhouse in Madison.”; ” …one of the most sonically untethered things Grimm has put out there so far—which is saying something, and also not a complaint. He uses this eccentric but … Continue reading

Scott Gordon, Tone Madison, 2016

[Album Review]  “- a totally immersive, blissed-out trip that transports the listener away to distant climes…simply beautiful!”, “…glimmers of ‘sci-fi’ noises bleed through the drones. Over the course of the 35 minutes it totally immerses the listener in wave upon … Continue reading

 Dayz Of Purple And Orange (UK), 2016

[Album Review]  “(Brothers Grimm) … able to create extremely striking contemporary classical with only string instruments.  Compositions like “Stochastic Contexture: Heads” possess the unique ability to calm and agitate almost simultaneously.”

AV Club, Madison, 2012

[Album Review]  “(Brothers Grimm) … compositions are both classical and experimental, both disciplined and exploratory.”

Isthmus Daily Page, 2012

[Services: Events/Fundraiser]  “We hired Brian to provide music for a fundraiser for a community organization with approximately 75 guests. He was wonderful to work with and his music added an element to our event that was unique and elegant. Brian … Continue reading

Lynn K. Lodahl, Attorney, Hawks Quindel s.c.

[Guqin Yoga/Meditation]  “Brian’s accompaniment and flexibility as an artist added elements of grounding, exquisite expression, and serenity to our recent Y-Massage retreat. We are thrilled to be able to work with him again.”

Shannel and LaCouir Yancey, Y-Massage

[Services: Wedding]  “I am so grateful for what Brian brought to our ceremony.  Being able to provide such a broad request for a certain type of mood, having him dial in immediately and help it grow was priceless.  His presence … Continue reading

Neil Jarman

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4/28 | Sound Out Loud @ Fort Atkinson Club

Sun, 4/28 | 4-5pm Free @ Fort Atkinson Club
211 S. Water Street East, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
Chamber Series Concert featuring Sound Out Loud

From Fort Atkinson Club: Join us on Sunday, April 28 2019 from 4-5pm for the second 2019 Chamber Series Concert. Stay after the concert for a complimentary wine and appetizer reception. This is a great opportunity to meet the performers! This event is FREE and open to the public.

The Sound Out Loud Collective is a contemporary music ensemble based in Madison. While the specific instrumentation of the group fluctuates with each program, the core ensemble is comprised of flute (Iva Ugrcic), violin (Aaron Yarmel), cello (Brian Grimm), and two pianists (Satoko Hayami and Kyle Johnson). Sound Out Loud specializes in engaging works from the early 20th century–present and commissions new pieces from composers around the world. April’s concert will feature a diverse program of National Styles. Bryce Dessner’s “Murder Ballades” features intense, rhythmical arrangements of American ballads, while Arnold Schoenberg’s “Chamber Symphony” offers a mix of high modernism with popular European styles.

While these concerts are open and free to the public, many dedicated patrons and sponsors are to be thanked for their generosity and support of the Chamber Series Concerts.


Features on the Program, notes by Brian Grimm

I am thrilled to be joined by Todd Hammes (tabla) for a performance of compositions and variations in Drut Ektaal (fast 12 beat cycle) on Raga Bageshree. These theme and variations were given to me by my guruji pandit Sugato Nag, a sitar master based out of Kolkata, India. Sugato’s style of playing is highly melodic and vocal, which has been one of the great advantages as he has helped me to adapt this music on my ‘sarangicello’. Todd studied under Pandit Sharda Sahai and for a period of time, was my brother AJ’s tabla teacher. I’ve had a lot of fun rehearsing with Todd and can’t wait to perform more Indian Classical with him in the future! Here is a performance of my guruji Sugato Da and his son Snehesh Nag performing the same main compositions, with different variations:


Ravi Shankar, one of the greatest musicians of all time has remained a favorite inspiration of mine throughout my life. Only in the last year did I stumble upon one of his masterpieces for dance and theater, Ghanashyam: A Broken Branch (1989). Back in college, I found a CD of Indian ensemble music featuring a concerto for two sitars and ensemble music highlighting bansuri flute that Ravi had composed – I’ve always kept my eye out for more of that sound. Most people in the Western World have come to know of Ravi Shankar via his influence on the Beatles, being that he was George Harrison’s guru. Ravi became one of the first Global Musicians to help spread and educate on the deep joyful experience of Indian Classical and Folk music. I first heard the Overture of Ghanashyam on a compilation disc I found years ago at a Half Priced Books, and was blown away! This was exactly what I was looking for and what an exciting piece to kick off any album or production! I couldn’t find any more info on this piece and for a couple of years, I simply enjoyed it and stopped looking further. Then, curious again last year I happened upon the good news that the entire project was remastered and re-released in 2017! I immediately ordered a copy and it has become one of my favorite albums of all time.


Ravi of course was know also as one of the greatest sitar soloists of his time, but few Westerners know of his ensemble compositions that he did for film, radio, and dance. Shankar grew up performing traditional Indian dance and music, so he was the perfect person to create this dance and theater piece about the ultimate death of a dancer due to drug abuse, and the effect on those around him. If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you know that the Brothers Grimm have composed many scores for dance and theater, so this is kind of an ultimate geek out album for me.

I have arranged the overture for Sound Out Loud to play at this Fort Atkinson performance. One brilliant idea executed in this overture is that no matter how that each musical theme presents it self later on in the production (4, 6, 7, 12, 16, etc beat cycles), they are all stitched together and made one by fitting each theme to an 11 beat cycle within the overture.

The remaster sounds amazing, they really did a great job cleaning up the mix and opening up space and definition around each instrument, bringing out the color in each instrument voice. You can pick up your physical copy here: East Meets West Shop

From East Meets West, Ravi’s legacy record label:
Nine Decades Vol. 5 is a special re-mastered recording of the music-theater piece entitled, Ghanashyam: A Broken Branch, originally commissioned by he Birmingham Touring Opera Company and premiering in 1989. Created out of his deep concern over the youth culture’s preoccupation with drugs as an “easy escape from the sadhana found in disciplined hard work,” Ravi Shankar wrote this outstanding piece of music in the folk tale tradition. It is an examination of the forces that can dilute the world-changing potential of the artist. The music is lush, featuring Shankar’s usual proclivity to combine Eastern and Western orchestral instrumentations to great effect. Featuring dance music in the North Indian Kathak style, as well as the South Indian Bharatanatyam and Kathakali styles, Ghanashyam is a dynamic work of unearthly beauty and one that is very much influenced by Shankar’s eight years of dancing in his brother Uday Shankar’s troupe. Originally released on CD in the early 1990s at a truncated 60 minutes, East Meets West has re-mastered the original reels and restored a full twenty more minutes to the music, making this recording a more faithful to the audio that accompanied the original theater production.

Behind the scenes footage of the production!

Murder Ballads

Sound Out Loud will close the program with a performance of Murder Ballads (2013) by Bryce Dessner. Dessner is famously known in popular music circles as the guitarist for the National and the Clogs. Murder Ballads (recording below by Eighth Blackbird, in Chicago) explores a wide range of folk styles converted to 21st century Classical chamber music. This piece is a set of seven instrumental ballads, the piece was inspired by the tunes, stories and playing styles from the great American folk music tradition. The ballads include pieces loosely based on classic tunes, plus Dessner’s original compositions which were informed by the many months he spent inhabiting the seductive music and violent stories of these murder ballads. It has been super fun and challenging to learn this piece, there are a number of movements which require very accurate bow technique. However difficult individual technique gets, it always remains melodic and easy on the ears. No matter how dark the murderous folk lore subject matter may be, we find it to be quite an enjoyable ride and a nice way to close out the concert.


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