Pianist, Composer, Music Educator
Mark Christopher Brandt: acoustic piano, Geoff Thaler: woodwinds
Veritas Released May 1, 1995
Veritas is an instrumental work featuring pianist/composer Mark Christopher Brandt and multi-reed player Geoff Thaler. After years of group playing as a sideman, having only released one project as a leader before Veritas, Mark set out into uncharted territory to find his voice as a solo pianist performing his own originals. He used the material of Veritas to explore and develop his rhythmic concept while intentionally distancing himself from the standard left hand formulas employed by classical and jazz pianists. The result is both unique and ethereal.
The first 3 tracks of Veritas were set to the text of the Lord’s Prayer (Veritas Part 1), the form of the Holy Rosary (Veritas Part 2) and the Hail Mary itself (Veritas Part 3) which ends with Mark’s chant-like morning offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The text that inspired Mark can be found in the printed scores to these pieces.
The piece entitled The Tree was composed by Mark so that Geoff would have an original composition to exploit his musical prowess and mastery on flute, alto flute, bass clarinet, soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. The Tree is the only completely scored out piece on the album. The other pieces were basically sketches that Mark and Geoff used to explore and develop their freedom as improvisors in the unforgiving light of the recording studio.
Geoff was clearly instrumental in helping Mark achieve his musical goals in these first years of his career as a recording artist. The two merged as one person throughout the spontaneous and free flowing melodies of Veritas. The risks they took together both artistically and from a marketing perspective laid the foundation for Mark to make even greater strides on subsequent recordings. 23 years after Veritas, Mark successfully revisited the piano and woodwind duo approach with virtuoso flutist Yana Nikol on their recording titled Sunflowers and Roses. (2018)
Veritas is available in the original compact disc format. Availability is limited. These pieces have been released for streaming under the project name Home.
1. Veritas Part 1
2. Veritas Part 2
3. Veritas Part 3
6. Shrine of the Spirit
7. The Wind (Rob’s Song)
8. The Tree
9. The Theology of Risk