M is for Macbride

Much like Robert Carl, David Macbride is a composer I met through my studies at Hartt. He was my first composition professor and is one of the biggest influences on my life both musically and otherwise. Over the course of almost six years now I have had a pleasure to really get to know him and his music. I have been lucky enough to participate as a performer in a number of ensembles premiering his works and have also premiered a couple of solos and duets for percussion as well. I am also delighted to say David has also premiered a few of my compositions with me.

Though David’s music has great variety throughout one theme that seems to always come back is the importance and use of percussion in someway. It’s easy to forget David’s background is not in percussion (he is a pianist) as his knowledge of the instruments and techniques is vast and comparable to many percussionists. He was born of a Eurasian background and uses this influence in several of his works blending timbral, cultural and harmonic sounds from the east and the west (similar to the work of Takemitsu).

There is also often a political view in his music. Sometimes it can be very overt such as the piece Staying the Course which has one note to represent a life taken in the Iraq War and sometimes it’s incredibly subtle (perhaps even just projected by the listener) such as in Bells of Remembrance.

I am currently at work on a recital of solo percussion music by David that will hopefully be presented in the Spring of 2018. It’s always a pleasure to be working on his music and I find the more a play it the more I learn about myself. I wouldn’t be the musical or even the person I am now if it were not for my meeting David.

Recommended Listening/Viewing:

Triptych for solo Marimba

Staying the Course for Solo Percussion

Bells of Remembrance for Percussion and Piano

Still Night Thoughts for Solo Piano

Piano Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Music for a Large Space for Large Wind Ensemble

Songs of Simple Truth for Voice and Ensemble



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