Virtuoso saxophonist Briggan Krauss connects the extreme edges of saxophone technique with the unexplored tonal possibilities of the instrument, making his work as much about shape as it is about a signature sound. With artistic interests that span composition, electronic music, sound art, and electric guitar; he brings a broad range of sonic possibilities to his conception of music.
Briggan Krauss has been a key player in New York City’s creative music scene since he relocated there in 1994. As a leader, Krauss recorded multiple albums for Knitting Factory records, including the critically acclaimed “300” with Wayne Horvitz on keyboards and Kenny Wollesen on drums. “Red Sphere” was released in 2008 on Skirl Records with his trio H-Alpha (Ikue Mori on laptop, Jim Black on drum set and percussion) and features a unique atmosphere of collective improvisation where spectral lines of sound are emitted and absorbed in the moment. His most recent releases are a series of solo saxophone recordings that fall under the title of The Art of the Saxophone. The first two recordings are The Art of the Saxophone Vol. 1: The Tunnel Recordings, and The Art of the Saxophone Vol. 2: The Studio Recordings. These recordings document some of the unique and innovative ways that he approaches improvisation and the saxophone. Produced by the legendary saxophonist Skerik, these recordings finds Krauss exploring the unusual sonic features of the cavernous Mt. Baker I-90 pedestrian tunnel in Seattle, WA, and also in the recording studio blending harmonics and employing multi-phonics on the saxophone. These recordings also highlight the signature towel-mute Krauss invented in the early 1990’s along with the broad vocabulary of extended techniques he has created for its use. Art of the Saxophone Vol. 1: The Tunnel Recordings was chosen in The New York City Jazz Record magazine's Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2016 list. The third and most recent release in this series is a live recording called The Art of the Saxophone: Live at the Saalfelden Jazz Festival 2017 recorded in Saalfleden Austria.
Krauss has appeared on over fifty recordings as a sideman. His iconic voice has been a part of Steven Bernstein’s Sexmob from the band’s inception more than twenty years ago, spanning numerous European tours and a Grammy nomination for the 2006 Sexmob recording, “Sexotica”. He recorded with guitarist Bill Frisell on his Grammy winning album “Unspeakable” and performed in several concerts and on recordings produced by Hal Willner including tributes to Neil Young, Doc Pomus and Leonard Cohen and T-Rex which also included artists such as Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Nick Cave, Cat Power, Rufus Wainwright, Beth Orton, Tim Robins and others. Highly sought after in the studio and on stage, he has worked with a diverse range of artists such as Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Steven Bernstein, Medeski Martin and Wood, Levon Helm, U2, Nels Cline and many others.
In 2013, Krauss received his MFA from Brooklyn College’s unique PIMA (Performance and Interactive Media Arts) program, solidifying his role as a multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary artist in the electronic music and sound art sphere. He is now an adjunct professor in the PIMA program at Brooklyn College.
Briggan Krauss' newest ensemble project is his String and Reed Quartet. This project represents an important milestone in his work; formally putting his guitar playing and his alto saxophone playing together for the first time in the same musical context and exploring how these very different instruments can coalesce and share the same orbit in his work. The first project written for this quartet is a suite of seven compositions titled CLAP.