/ Oct 2011
Composer David Bruce's commission, Fire, which will be performed in the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral on 25 May, will feature a fire artist, an ensemble of horns and a massed community chorus.
PRS for music Foundation
/ Sep 2011
The Opera Group and Salisbury International Arts Festival have commissioned David Bruce to create 'Fire', an outdoor spectacle of visual and musical fireworks. The celebratory piece is for virtuoso female voice, a fire artist, a trio of horns and a community chorus recruited in each of the three Festivals to which it tours -- Salisbury, Brighton and Spitalfields (London).
/ Aug 2011
David Bruce features in a documentary from PBS Arts 'Off book' series. Steampunk art evokes an alternate reality where steam is the primary source of power. Technology, though highly advanced, has taken on a very different look and feel, and fashion is heavily influenced by Victorian styles. In this episode, we explore the Steampunk aesthetic and art movement. We speak with a Steampunk artist, a composer who created an entire piece of music inspired by Steampunk, and a performing arts collective whose work falls naturally into this intriguing world.
/ Aug 2011
David Bruce's brilliantly scored, folk-inspired The North Wind Was a Woman [was] hugely impressive
/ Jul 2011
Last night was especially exuberant, since they premiered a wildly happy work by the noted American-British composer David Bruce.... essentially, this was a mechanical tour de force. At times it resembled Mossolov's futuristic Steel Foundry or the 1920s German music of Hindemith and Weill. At times, this was Chaplin's music for Modern Times. But it was all David Bruce.
Which means that is was extremely well-ordered, without a single harsh harmony, the eight instruments playing pinpoint notes against each other, a virtual contrapuntal festival. An exceptionally complex music, yes. But like a Rube Goldberg invention, all the different squawks, squeaks, pipings, whines and cries somehow came together. In other words, Steampunk was joy, real joy.
/ May 2011
This vividly scored, emotionally turbulent 25-minute work reminded me at once of Samuel Barber's 'Knoxville: Summer 1915,' not because Bruce imitated in any way Barber's harmonic vocabulary, but because this work exuded an equally passionate immediacy and rich instrumentation that dared you to remain outside of its vibrant command.
Unlike the Romantic poets of the 19th century, who saw nature as the flattering background of romance, Bruce's poems (two are actually his own) make nature the romantic protagonists. Bruce turned the fourth poem, 'The Crescent Moon is a Dangerous Lunatic' (by Alasdair Middleton), into a careening car chase, a pulsating Expressionist rant that proved as ravishingly beautiful as it was violent. And Narucki proved more than equal to its challenge.
I cannot begin to describe the extent of Bruce's inventive instrumentation throughout the work in a short review, but let me highlight his mesmerizing combination of harp and mandolin, contrasting plucked sounds that he wove into a sonorous magic carpet, notably in the opening poem 'The Snow Is Completely Without Hope.'"
Silk Road Project
/ Apr 2011
British-American composer David Bruce will write a piece for the Silk Road Ensemble. Read the interview.
/ Mar 2011
Another highlight of the first session of the program were the performances (again utilizing Campbell) of two John Dowland laments. The pieces positively wept. They seemed to hover in amber, still to the point of paralysis. Dowland's reputation as an acquired melancholy taste seemed borne out by the afternoon's selections – rather than lay down lachrymose gush, they simply wept quietly, beautifully."
/ Mar 2011
Using minimal vibrato, Campbell delivered the lines of Dowland's Go crystal tears with the soft swell of a viol in David Bruce's beautiful setting.
/ Mar 2011
More naturally attuned to the harp's evocative qualities were...a pair of sensitively scored contemporary pieces - David Bruce's 'Caja de Musica' and Kati Agocs's 'Every Lover Is a Warrior'
/ Feb 2011
The Eye of Night, is simply one of the greatest compositions for flute, viola, and harp I've heard in years. "
The Voice Magazine
/ Feb 2011
/ Jan 2011
The Eye of Night is a four-movement work distinguished by clear forms and unabashedly gorgeous melodies and harmonies...There are precious few [composers] with the gift for writing a great melody or theme. David Bruce, on the strength of this work and others found at his web site, appears to be one of the chosen...
...The applause which followed the final notes of The Eye of Night was not the perfunctory clapping people give so as not to seem rude to a composer in the audience. No, the vigorous applause was sincere, a sign that a roomful of people had just been deeply moved by music they (or anyone else) had ever heard before.
...There are many reasons that an ensemble commissions a composer, but the best and most basic reason is in the hope of receiving a work which that ensemble can perform again and again. Another hope—but one rarely achieved—is that the work commissioned becomes a masterpiece in the genre. I believe that The Eye of Night will soon be become a favorite composition to perform and record by the Debussy trios (flute, viola, and harp) out there, and in allowing such a work to be created, the Art of Elan has done an invaluable service.