Peter Broderick: Music For Contemporary Dance (Erased Tapes)
Native Oregonian Peter Broderick is a talented multi-instrumentalist whose name has become somewhat of a fixture in post-rock, free-folk and ambient circles in the last few years. He’s done time with Horse Feathers, M.Ward, Efterklang and more, but my main interest with him lies in his solo output. This double 10" release (which comes with a complimentary download) is some of Broderick’s strongest material, still cinematic but delicate and with an emphasis on space as much as on the sounds themselves. The release collects two different commissioned works. The first, Music For Falling From Trees, is a 30-minute series of pieces that were written for London-based choreographer Adrienne Hart. The score informs the dance production’s story of a man in a psychiatric hospital undergoing an identity crisis, and the music is based entirely around violin and guitar. It lacks any of the folk-leaning tendencies of some of Broderick’s more song-based material, and instead is far more serious and stark. The second piece, in four movements, was commissioned by conceptual duo KMA as the score to a “pedestrian ballet,” intended to be performed by non-professional performers. Once again, Broderick focuses on strings and piano but expands to include much broader arrangements, and the tone of the piece differs. It lacks the intense drama of the first piece and instead feels more strident and cyclical, with a persistent repetition that is satisfying. Only in its third act, “Differences,” does the sound take a turn for higher drama, with a bombastic crescendo that pulls out all of the proverbial stops. It’s an impressive entry into Broderick’s continually expansive œuvre, further demonstrating his talents and potential to grow as a performer, composer and innovator.
Watch/listen: Music For Falling From Trees Part 4: The Dream