A Special Light
A Special Light
A Special Light collects various works by composer David Macbride over the span of the last decade. But as much as this makes Macbride’s document, a journal of a certain distinct period, it also remains a canvas onto which listeners can paint their own experiences. “We each bring our own story to whatever music we experience,” writes Macbride in the liner notes. “So a single piece communicates a myriad of personal stories.”
Throughout, Macbride explores his relationship with his Chinese heritage (his mother was from China, his father from Scotland), a part of himself that he had never directly addressed in his work before. In “Kelet,” it comes through in the vocal inflections of the violin, reminiscent of the Chinese erhu. Other Asian elements arise in the temple bowls of “Swinging” and the Indian-based melodic modes of the cello pieces “1 x 4” and “1 x 8.” “All of these pieces,” Macbride writes, “reflect in one way or another Chinese musical and cultural traditions as I become more comfortable being direct in personalizing recognizable Eastern styles and aesthetics.”
But beyond cultural signals or specificities, Macbride’s music has what he calls “a basic sense of serenity and focus.” Underlying the diverse instrumentation and approaches of each piece is that reflective and meditative state, whether the piece is in memory of a dear friend gone too soon (“A Special Light”) or part of a physical sound installation as with the excerpts from “Percussion Park.”
Macbride teaches composition at the Hartt School and has two other innova releases, Conundrum and In Common.