The Brandenburg 300 Project
A jazz-classical crossover version of the Brandenburg Concertos using instruments and recording techniques unavailable in Bach’s time.
Brandenburg 300 Project
Artist Statement, by Bob Danziger
Bach was orphaned at age 10. Taken in by his brother’s family, he would transcribe Vivaldi and other composers secretly in his room until the wee hours. It's kind of the way we, as children, would read, listen to music, or play with our phones under the covers after bedtime. What did Bach hear in his head writing down the works of others over and over? Did he hear his own works improvising with theirs?
I think he did. After having played all of the Brandenburg it seems to me that much of his composition is a reaction to the works of others. He knew their weaknesses, the places their talent couldn't take them, and he filled that space - and much more - for the rest of his life.
I believe the Brandenburg resonates so deeply and for so long because of the events in Bach’s life during the period of its composition. Almost all musicians achieve greatness because they put all of themselves into every song, and when Bach was writing the Brandenburg his beloved wife Maria Barbara, mother of his seven children, a son and his brother all died while he was on a road show for his patron. The letters informing Bach had been intercepted by the Prince’s handlers so as not to upset the Prince. He found out when he walked through the door to find four of his children motherless and hungry. He must have been emotionally raw, memories of his parents death mixed with the stages of grief played out in the music pouring from his soul onto the page. I suggest he was less filtered in this time, and therefore the musical themes more declarative. Pulling punches would have been hard when obsessively composing, now further fueled by questions about his faith and family. Then about a year into writing the Brandenburg he met Ana Magdalena, his true love, who would bear him 13 children and work side-by-side with Bach for the rest of his life.
Auditioning as a soprano for his choir, Ana Magdalena – a beautiful 20 year old – entranced the 35 years old Bach. She became a great mother to the 13 children she had with Bach in addition to the four surviving children from Maria Barbara.. He must have fallen deeply in to love and gratitude at finding the mother he so needed, and the muse that inspired greatness. She loved, inspired and rescued him.
After the extreme lows experienced during the first year of writing the Brandenburg, the highs of new love and the recovery of hope must have been spectacular.
This journey from family harmony, to the depths of despair, to the dizzying heights of new love traverses most important things in life, and are so regardless of wealth, race, religion and all the other things that separate us. The Brandenburgs bind us together through our common experience of life, death and love.
I trace the start of the Brandenburg 300 Project to when I first heard the Brandenburg Concerto while doing T’ai Chi on a floating dock during a sunset in Tahiti. Upon my return home, I listened to the Brandenburg every day for 2 ½ years. I only played electric bass at the time, and didn’t get far with the Brandenburg. Thirty-five years, and a lifetime of music later, I took up playing the EWI, an electronic wind instrument that’s sort of like a MIDI keyboard, only it’s played somewhat like a clarinet. Falling in love with the English Horn sound the EWI makes, I noticed I was playing a Brandenburg melody and decided to learn all the parts of the second Brandenburg Concerto. Parts started coming quickly. After a few months, I started re-arranging the parts to merge some of my favorite counterpoint lines with the melody and bass lines. Then studying the life of Bach, and the history of the Brandenburg Concerto, I further re-wrote some of the sections based on my sense of Bach, and began incorporating bits and pieces of the jazz, funk, rock, country, African, Indonesian, Brazilian and other musics that are part of my musical life. Eventually a series of duets and a recording concept emerged.
At the same time all this trouble was going on in Bach’s life, the Calvinist Church he had been writing for banned music, forcing him to write secular music. But because of this, an unprecedented number of great musicians were fired by their Churches and needed work. They could join Bach’s orchestra or play the brothel and wedding circuit – there was little in-between.
Eighteen of the best musicians in Europe joined his orchestra in the backwater of Cothen. As respite for his broken heart, the overwhelming demands of sudden single fatherhood, and still bleeding from betrayal by his Prince, Bach kept writing, using the extraordinary skills and passion of his musicians as conduits for his genius. They had to have loved the challenge, and done everything they could to help and comfort Bach. They must have become very close, and they – together – must have pushed the boundaries of their skill, passion and talent fearlessly. What less than that could transport Bach to a place where he could heal, and prepare to love again?
Some think the Brandenburg was an audition to the Margrave (a kind of Prince) of Brandenburg in 1721 as part of a job application. It was a job Bach wanted before all the tragedies, but after the Prince’s betrayal he clearly stopped caring - because he made the Brandenburg Concertos so hard to play. I believe that “Bach must have known when writing certain lines that only the musicians in his orchestra could play them – or more specifically, the musicians in the Margrave’s orchestra couldn’t.
I think Bach looked at a musician and, “I want you to play the highest, hardest thing you can play in this passage and I will write it down.” The musician would practice and improvise and practice and practice until there were lines so deeply known they could play them at any speed. Then Bach would write it down – probably suggesting variations here and there.
I can only imagine the Margrave’s poor bassoon, oboe or clarino (a kind of trumpet) player looking at a score with notes so high and so fast they would never have the skill to master.
Bach had attitude – he once stabbed (like Charles Mingus) a horn player for missing notes in the solo. Bach was a master of what musicians could and couldn’t do – he must have known that it was unplayable by anyone but the musicians in his orchestra. This had to be intentional.” Indeed, it was never played by the Margrave or anyone else during Bach’s lifetime, and only started becoming popular over 100 years after Bach’s death.
It is ironic to note that the Brandenburg is closely associated with its soaring trumpet solos was written at a time that the trumpet as we know it did not exist – and wouldn’t for over 80 years.
A friend asked me at the first completion of the whole of the Brandenburg Concertos, "How does it feel to have come this distance with the Project?"
"I remember when I started this project it felt like I was looking at a small boulder at the base of a mountain whose peak I could not see and did not understand, but felt excited to climb. That excitement never left me for almost four straight years, day and night, in my dreams and in my fingers. I had never attempted anything as challenging in music, although I had in other areas, and I felt unreasonably confident. I practiced and practiced and honed and honed, and when it was right my body would completely relax. And when that happened, when the breath fully exhaled, when the shoulders de-hunched, the jaw sank, and the stomach warmed it was right, every time.
And the rewards! Glimpsing the unvarnished genius of Bach, painted by the hand of God. Appreciating as only a player can the grace, athleticism, and the otherworldly talent of the musicians in the orchestras that have played the Brandenburg well. Understanding the message carried by the Gold Record on the Voyager spacecraft, and to have it be the first man made object to leave the solar system with the message of hope that we are not alone, right in the middle of the project. And the chance to feel and express my gratitude to the people for whom the movements are now named: Benjamin Franklin; Sam Perricone; Sam Hicks; Oleg Penkovsky; Jack Earle; Paulina Morales; Martin Luther King; Rembrandt van Rijn; Johannes Vermeer; Leonardo DaVinci; John Schoenoff; Irwin Woodland; Helen Iwanaga; Lloyd Pementil; Linus Pauling; Madame Marie Curie; Albert Einstein; Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette; Shen Zhou; the San; and Birdbach Badinerie (Charlie Parker).
There is also a feeling of irony because I am completing this project when there is no popular outlet for works of this type. The album market has collapsed except in conjunction with live performances which I am physically prevented from even considering. Streaming services and radio stations don't play whole works. I have never had an audience outside of family and friends, so the likelihood of it being heard as intended outside of that circle is similar to the likelihood of appreciation by a crowd at the summit of Everest. Music and musicians need audiences, so I worry the music suffers from the lack of them.
On the other hand this gave me complete freedom to exercise every skill I do have, and to apply every experience from my very diverse, very rich polymath's life. I could bare my soul knowing it would likely never be noticed. I could put every fiber of my being into a passage, and not dwell on my inadequacies. I could use compositon and recording techniques that could never be duplicated in live performance - which freed the music to mind-blowing and exquisite options that I do not believe have ever been attempted before. My handicaps became the white stallions carrying me to battle, and my physical challenges a harem of muses.
I feel like I did something very special, something approaching worthy of all the gifts and talents God has given me.
I hope this work finds its place, and is there at a special time for a special person."
First Music on the Gold Record Attached to the Voyager Spacecrafts – the First Man-Made Objects to Leave Our Solar System , and one of the last international agreements that answer the question, "If there was one thing about the human race you would want the rest of the universe to know about us, what would it be?
The Voyager team selected the Brandenburg Concerto.
“This journey from family harmony, to the depths of despair, to the dizzying heights of new love traverses most important things in life, and are so regardless of wealth, race, religion and all the other things that separate us. The Brandenburgs bind us together through our common experience of life, death and love.”
Perhaps this is why the Brandenburg Concerto was selected to be the first music on the Gold Record on the side of the Voyager Spacecraft launched in 1977 that left our solar system in 2013, and was humankind’s first formal international attempt to communicate, to engineer a "time capsule" that some alien planet might encounter 50,000 or more years hence. This also cements the Brandenburg Concerto – and in particular the Karl Richter version of the 1st movement of the 2nd Concerto – as arguably the most important single piece of music ever recorded. How could anything else come close, except the other music that follows the Brandenburg on the Gold Record? Whether the most important or not, the Brandenburg certainly sets a timeless standard – at least equal to the human standard of taking 50,000 years from the first migrations from Africa, to the first time we escaped the solar system and the influence of our sun.
Albums and Honorees
Except for three, each of the recordings has been named in honor of an individual. Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and the San People/Mother Africa are the other three honorees.
Brandenburg Concerto #1
The 1st Brandenburg Concerto was written when Bach was content with his family and his work. But there were clouds on the horizon, and we wonder what he sensed.
In the First Concerto we honor my favorite founding father - Benjamin Franklln, a Renaissance Man whose many parts blossomed into the great culture that exists in the United States, and who got his big break in life the same year Bach finished the Brandenburg.
We honor my friend and mentor Sam Perricone because he rose from difficult circumstances to succeed magnificently, just as Bach did; Sam Hicks, representing Law Enforcement, and all of the First Responders, who was a beloved Policeman, FBI Agent, husband and father who was killed in the line of duty; and Oleg Penkovsky - a spy who sacrificed his life to prevent an imminent nuclear war.
In these rarely recorded movements of the 1st Concerto the Brandenburg 300 Project honors Jack Earle, a giant man with a giant heart, and Paulina Morales - mother, civic leader and war hero.
Brandenburg Concerto #2
In the Second Concerto I see Bach as coping with his pain and four hungry children while processing the grief of losing his wife, child and brother unexpectedly. The deepest despair endured not knowing the love of his life would be arriving in just a few months. Unrecorded are the people who helped feed and bathe the children, or who provided the liniments his aching heart and soul needed. I suspect it was the musicians in his orchestra and their families, but have no proof.
The honorees in the 2nd Movement are people who taught me great lessons. They are a desperately poor young boy, whose name I do not know, who displayed integrity, honor and dignity equaling the highest levels I have ever seen; Martin Luther King - the greatest voice I ever heard; Joe Manning - who taught me the meanings of friendship and leadership; and Pythagoras, invented the most important formula in the history of mankind – the right angle and triangle (“a” squared plus “b” squared equals “c” squared).
DaVinci ( painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer) , Rembrandt and Vermeer are the great artists from this era who inspire me. And Voyager 1 is, of course, honored in connection with the 1st movement of the 2nd Concerto - the first music on Voyager's "Gold Record."
There are several versions of the 2nd Concerto recordings contained on the EP's: #2 Hybrids; #2 Trios and Duets; and Brandenburg 23 Six Variations. Two of the recordings on "Six Variations" were remixed and remastered. Brandenburg 23 Mike Miller became Brandenburg 23 Vermeer, and Brandenburg 23 Quartet became Brandenburg 23 DaVinci.
Brandenburg Concerto #3
I like to think of the 3rd Concerto to be the one where he and the true love of his life Ana Magdalena find each other and know they are meant for each other. Both longed for a future filled with music. The wanted the joys and challenges of a large family. I can only imagine the 35 year old, emotionally raw Bach seeing the 20 year old Ana Magdalena waiting to audition for Bach’s choir. Did he fall in love with her the instant he saw her, or did the sound of her voice cause him to see her and love her as only his ears could have directed? Did he know instantly that life would be better? Or did their first meeting give maybe just a sense that happiness was on the other side of his despair?
The honorees in the 3rd Movement are men who helped me through critical phases of my life. They are John Schoenoff, my John Burroughs Junior High School Guidance Counselor; and Woody Woodland, who himself headed a large, wonderful family, and is also responsible for some of the most important strategies used by Sunlaw to accomplish its highest objectives.
Brandenburg Concerto #4
I like to think of the 4th Concerto as the time when Bach asks Ana Magadalena for her hand in marriage, to be mother to his children, and to have many more children together. This would have occurred around one year after Bach started writing the Brandenburg Concertos.
Ecstasy, trepidation, hope and fear mix with terrible memories of his first wife, son and brothers deaths, and betrayal by his patron, that are barely a year old. It is a time of reaching out, the trauma healed just enough to trust again and see the goodness – and bad – in those around you. I think, with four young mouths to feed, time for contemplation was sparse, and composing was escape, relaxation, a touchstone during this period of transition to Bach’s future. They would have 13 children together and spend every day working together for almost the rest of their lives.
The 4th Concerto has within it among the most beautiful elements, and also the hardest passages, demanding a virtuosity few have. The 3rd Movement of the 4th Concerto is the fastest of all 23 Brandenburg Movements.
The Honorees are three great scientists: Madame Marie Curie, Linus Pauling and Albert Einstein; and two regional heroes Helen Iwanaga – who, among many other things, organized bands and wrote music in the internment camps during World War II, and Lloyd Pemintel – who sang the children of a labor camp to bed every night after his 12 hour shift, ending each night by singing “You Are My Sunshine” to his own babies.
Brandenburg Concerto #5
By the time of the 5th Concerto Bach was about to be married, madly in love, starting his new expanded family - and grateful for the help of a beautiful young woman after having only year before found himself shockingly alone.
Ana Magdalena and Bach worked together for the rest of their lives both as parents and colleagues. We must assume that Ana Magdelena was instrumental in creating the atmosphere that allowed Bach's genius to flourish.
I like to think of the 5th Concerto to be the one where he and the true love of his life Ana Magdalena know they are meant for each other, and a future filled with music and children.
I also like to think this is the point at which Bach had time for gratitude to those who helped him through these rough times. Everybody needs a hand now and then.
In the 5th Concerto we honor the great 15th century artist Shen Zhou, and Lafayette - the man who saved the American Revolution. When the new America needed a helping hand to win its independence, it was Lafayette who obtained the crucial needed support.
Brandenburg Concerto #6
In this last Concerto I like to think Bach and Ana Magdalena are making wedding plans – they would be married about 6 months after Bach delivered the Brandenburg Concerto. Optimism must have been mixed with a sense of triumph and profound relief.
In this final Concerto the Brandenburg 300 Project honors the second Voyager 2 spacecraft, and the San people of Africa from whom we all descend, to reflect on the bridge thorough music between Bach's time and ours, and between our time and a future where we finally know are not alone in the universe.
BirdBach Badinerie is composed from excerpts of Charlie Parker's solo on "All the Things You Are" and Bach's Orchestral Suite #2 (Badinerie).
After completing the writing and recording of the whole Brandenburg Concerto, I decided to learn a couple of Charlie Parker solos. A friend was over and suggested I learn Bach's Orchestral Suite #2 (Badinerie) and in the course of practicing both it seemed to me there were a couple of sections that would work well together. I tried it and magic happened.
When introducing this to Albert Wing - who plays reeds on a number of the Brandenburg pieces - and he had heard that Bach would work out solos over classical pieces, call up his friends, and play the record over the phone accompanies by his variations. Bach had to be one of the composers he worked over, and wouldn't it have been great to get one of those calls?
It came out so good and was so emblematic of what we were hoping to achieve in the Brandenburg 300 Project, we decided to include it here.
Musician and Production Credits
Composed by J.S. Bach, Arranged and additional composition, arrangement and remixing by Robert Danziger
Bob Danziger (EWI, Logic and Sibelius) has won the Gold Medal for Best Original Music by the International Film & Television Festival of New York; received an ASCAP Special Award for Adult Alternative, Jazz, World, Special Event, Movie, or Television; appeared on numerous albums; and composed soundtracks for museum exhibitions. He has written four books including “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Energy Independence,” been issued eight patents, and received a Doctorate of Fine Arts (Hon) from Cal-State Monterey Bay, and a Juris Doctor from Whittier College School of Law.
Pat Woodland (Co-production, sound design, mixing and mastering): television credits Vegas; Late Show with David Letterman; Numbr3s; Sex and the City; Profiler; Ali: An American Hero; Nightbreaker; Fantastic Four; Bull; Breathing Lessons; Jack Reed A Killer Among Us; and, To Dance with the White Dog. Trailers: The Last Seduction; Kill Me Again; Zanda Lee; Rainbow Drive; and, Whispers.
Appearing on Brandenburg 21, 22, 23 and 43:
Mike Miller (Guitar) has performed on multiple film soundtracks by Hans Zimmer and Mark Mothersbaugh (DEVO), and collaborated with Chick Corea ("Paint The World", Grammy Award nomination), George Duke, Al Jarreau, Airto Moreira & Flora Purim, Stanley Clarke, Brand X, Peter Erskine and The Yellowjackets (with whom he received another Grammy Award nomination) Tom Scott and The LA Express, Bette Midler, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Brenda Russell and Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire), and many more. Mike is well known for reinterpreting the very complex music of Frank Zappa, including collaboration with: Banned From Utopia (Zappa alumni band), The Grandmothers (Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black), The Fowler Brothers "Airpocket", as well as appearances performing Zappa's music with The Seattle Symphony Orchestra, The Portland Symphony Orchestra and The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Mike Miller was also featured at The Ojai Festival with Sir Simon Rattle and The L. A. Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of contemporary orchestral music.
Albert Q Wing (Reeds and Flute) also is well known for his work with Frank Zappa’s music, including several album and touring projects, the Fowler Brothers, Flo and Eddie, and Banned from Utopia. Albert Wing has also recorded and/or toured with Tony Bennett, The Four Tops. Diana Ross, Sting, George Duke, Mary Wells, Earl Klugh, Ray Brown, Don Henley, George Benson, Manhattan Transfer, Eikichi Yazawa, Larry Carlton, Bingo Miki, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Howie Mandel, Rosanne Cash, Michael McDonald, Lion King, Paula Abdul, and Louie Bellson. He has also appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman and the American Music Awards.
Cello Solo on Brandenburg 15 Petrovsky
Melissa Hasin (Cello soloist on Brandenburg 15 Petrovsky): is a session musician, performing a range of music from classical and rock/pop to heavy metal, soul, and rap. She has played on sessions by everyone from Barbra Streisand and Natalie Cole to No Doubt (which used Hasin on its major hit of 1996 "Don't Speak"), to gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg. Other artists include Tori Amos, John Tesh, Bradley Joseph, Melissa Manchester, Kosmos Express, David Benoit, Robert Deeble and Teddy Edwards. On stage, she has backed Sammy Davis, Jr., Smokey Robinson, Frank Sinatra in 1996, and Led Zeppelin graduates Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in 1997.
Traditonal versus Non-Traditional Versions of the Brandenburg Concertos
Favorite Traditional Versions
The traditional version on Voyager came from Karl Richter and the Munich Bach Orchestra. It remains my favorite of the traditional classical versions, and I listen to it often. Another traditional favorite is Wynton Marsalis: Brandenburg Concerto #2 In F, BWV 1047 - 3. Allegro Assai. The Academy of Ancient Music and others have re-created the sound of the Brandenburg using period instruments.
Both Traditional and Non-Traditional
The Swingle Singers version (Brandenburg Concerto #3 In G, BWV 1048 - Mvt. 1 is both traditional and non-traditional; as is Wendy Carlos’ Switched-on versions of the Brandenburg (more or less faithful-to-the-original arrangements substituting synthesizers in the 1980’s).
Jacques Loussier and his ensembles are, to my knowledge, the only groups to attempt jazz versions of the complete set of all of the Brandenburg Concertos. The Brandenburg 300 Project clearly sits on Loussier’s shoulders. In addition, jazz greats like Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, and Keith Jarrett have quoted the Brandenburg in several of their recordings. Sones De Mexico Ensemble Chicago has done a masterful version using Mexican Mariachi rhythms and textures, while Tiempo Libre has imbued several Bach compositions with Cuban music history and flavor.
What is non-traditional about the Brandenburg 300 Project?
The re-written/arranged/mixed versions of the Brandenburg Concertos are written in 12-tone for any two instruments playing in any octave. Each composition is a deconstructed version of the original, which is then sometimes reconstructed with up to three other musicians using improvisational techniques.
PURE RECORDING PROJECT NOT INTENDED FOR LIVE PERFORMANCE
Range of instruments
Injuries sustained 42 years ago (when I was 18) make live performance and touring impossible. As a result I frequently would use electronic versions of traditional instruments that I could play above and below the range of the emulated instrument. For example the English Horn normally plays over a two octave range, whereas the electronic version I used could play over 5 octaves.
Live Playability - Impractical jumps between notes
Also, good composers structure their lines to give the players the best possible chance of playing in tune and on time. For example, trumpet lines that go from very low to very high usually have a run in between that makes it easier for the player to hit the high notes in tune and a lesser possibility of injuring their lips.
This is partially what allowed me to write for any two instruments playing in any octave. One way I achieved this was by recording the part using my EWI (Akai Electronic Wind Instrument) that does the same thing a MIDI keyboard does except you play it like a clarinet (i.e. you blow into it to make the sound). This allowed me to change the octave a line was recorded in higher or lower by several octaves until I found a pocket I liked, and it also served to test whether the lines really could be played by any two instruments playing in any octave. I also sometimes used a recording technique where I would record one part of a line, stop, record the higher part, stop: and then knit the two together.
Each of the musicians on this recording play multiple instruments that would be impossible to reproduce live on stage.
Programming versus playing.
Some of the parts were programmed, as opposed to played in the traditional sense. For example, about 80% of the piano parts were programmed by developing a score using a notation program called Sibelius, then transferred to Logic – a Digital Audio Workstation – where I do all the tweaking, editing, tempo changes and sound designs (with Pat Woodland). About 80% of the piano parts are programmed, whereas about 80% of all the other parts are played.
Naming Variations and Multiple Versions
Several of the Movements have multiple variations. For example the third movement of the 2nd Concerto has 8 variations and counting. Others like 31 have only one variation at this point, but hopefully will gather several over time. In today’s world, with download and streaming, multiple variations in a range of genres and moods, is easy and why not let listeners and sound supervisors choose the version they like or need? Why not capture all of the greatness the musicians contribute, instead of choosing to make just one version (as you had to back in the CD/record album days) and leaving genius on the cutting room floor?
All songs began development using the tempos from Karl Richter’s Munich Bach Orchestra (the same one as on Voyager). Then, because our versions were each originally re-written as duets or trios, harmony were at the most diads or triads, and because counterpoint sometimes took center stage, I would typically slow the piece down so the lines could be heard and savored more easily. On occasion in the recording process the lines were too fast for me to play with the desired articulation, so I would record at a slower speed and use recording techniques to speed up some passages to my desired tempos.
Numbering System and Combining Movements
The Brandenburg 300 Project uses a different numbering system than the traditional classical numbering system. Among these are to distinguish The Brandenburg 300 Project from traditional recordings; all arrangements are in 12 tone, not a key; the classical versions are deconstructed, and the hybrid versions are not classical; the old numbering system is out of step with naming practices in the non-classical world, and are incomprehensible to most people.
For example, the 2nd movement of the 1st Concerto is traditionally titled: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F Major, BWV 1046: II. Adagio. In our system it is called “Brandenburg 12.” The first number is the Concerto (1 though 6), and the second number is the Movement within that Concerto (1 through 8).
Combining movements is fairly common (Karl Richter, Classical Jazz Quartet, etc.), and sometimes I combined two movements into one song. For example, I combined the 2nd and 3rd movements of the 1st Concerto and named it in honor of Sam Perricone. For combined movements, the first number is the Concerto, the second number is the first movement playing, and the second number is the movement the particlar recording seques to. So, in this case, the recording is titled, “Brandenburg 12-3 Perricone.” The other combined recordings are:
Brandenburg 17-8 Morales
Brandenburg 32-3 Woodland
Brandenburg 52-1 Lafayette
Brandenburg 62-1 Voyager 2