The Jack Briece papers contains documents primarily of a personal nature that provide not only details of Briece's life but a snapshot of the landscape of contemporary music and art in America during the 70s and 80s. Most of the boxes in this collection contain Briece's diary, much of which was written on index cards that document his personal study of astrology, planetary movements, and the I-Ching. However, of particular interest are the music series and the records surrounding Briece's travels in Finland which can be found within the professional papers and correspondence series. The music materials demonstrate Briece's use and personal development of conventional as well as modern and experimental orchestration techniques. The evidence related to Finland represents a particularly active and creative time for the composer, and the culmination of much of his work up until his untimely death. This collection contains numerous and varied examples of Briece's compositions. There are two examples that were not composed by Briece: Face, by Erkki Jokinen, and Missa de angelis, by Jouko Linjama. Many of the scores employ conventional orchestration procedures, such as: Passacaglia and Allegro (1966), Plutonian Rabbit (1987), or Nine Dragons (1987). Other pieces demonstrate modern and experimental techniques using diagrams and/or verbal directions: Lemon Fresh Joy (1971), and Music Walk for Heinz Klaus Metzger.
Jack Briece 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 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. His own instrumental music has also been performed in Central America, Europe, and the United States and at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas (1973), the Biblioteca Benjamin Franklin in Mexico City (1977), and the Santa Fe Festival of the Arts (1983). His music has been published in Soundings and Ear magazines. He was also a member of the American Composers Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to American classical music, and publisher of American composers. Also of great importance to Briece's life and works was his ongoing study of astrology, planetary movements, and the I-Ching. Jack Briece died of AIDS in Aptos, California at the age of 43 on March 26, 1988.