I’m sure Peter Broderick’s debut album Float will turn up on this blog some day. It is essential listening for any instrumental and neoclassical music lover. But today I’m not going to limit Broderick’s contribution to one album. He is a prolific maker of beautiful music and at only 25 yrs of age, looks set for a big career.
‘I think my favourite instrument will always be the piano. All I have to do is touch one note and I think it sounds so beautiful. And all pianos are different, so I love to hear the different tones of the different instruments.’ Broderick (MiL interview)
Primarily a pianist and violinist, Broderick also plays banjo, musical saw and mandolin. Creative impatience and tenacity saw him become a multi instrumentalist at a young age and a session musician. He has released 12 recordings in only 3 years and got his confidence to start putting it out there while playing with Danish band Efterklang. The band invited Broderick to join the band in 2007 after he’d sent them some samples of his work through Myspace. Moving from his home town of Carlton, Oregan to Copenhagen, Denmark for his new posting, Broderick said, ‘it feels like my music career (and maybe my life in general) didn’t really begin until I moved to Europe. I don’t know if my music just fits better in Europe.’ (Broderick, MiL interview).
Initially Broderick’s compositions were restricted to one or two instruments. He felt he needed to limit his music in some way and within those confines he was better able to explore and create. His instrumental music while plaintive is never maudlin, rather it remains crisp, glacial and as uplifting as it is melancholy. Influenced by German born, British film score composer Max Richter, Broderick’s music often has a narrative quality and has scored films himself in recent times (Music for Confluence, Jennifer Anderson & Vernon Lott documentary, Grace & Mercy, documentary by Justin Yarborough) and written music for dance (Falling from Trees and Music for Congregation with KMA).
But Broderick’s music does not sit quietly in the neoclassical genre, it moves around and takes shape in various forms including folk and in various collaborations with other musicians including Machinefabriek, Nils Frahm, Jeff London and Laura Gibson among many others. He has explored recording with his own vocals in his more recent years, bringing his music well and truly out of any pigeonholes one might want to put it into.
‘I also draw inspiration from film scores that have returning themes throughout.’ Broderick (The Milk Factory interview)
Broderick’s website is nifty. His ‘About’ page answers reader questions with a sound file complete with accompanying music. Amongst these sound bites, he admits that he wished he could have written Dreamer by Tiny Vipers and that Bruce Cockburn’s If a Tree was a song that has somewhat shaped his style because his mum used to have it high rotation in their home when he was growing up.
A very recent and lengthy interview with Broderick at Amazingly Blog.
With The Notes in my Ears third party blog dedicated to Peter Broderick’s discography. Weird, but awesome.