1997+25 urfunk etude

urfunk etude (1997) is for solo piano with or without electronics. In terms of the sequences of minimalist canonic material and the parallel alignments of pitch, rhythmic structure and register, it is a precursor to my string quartet Madra (1999) and other works. It also builds upon a particular piano technique that worked around my limitations as… Continue reading 1997+25 urfunk etude

1992+30 Prepared Piano Piece No. 2

Prepared Piano Piece No. 2 (1992) is an unscored, improvised work combining live performance and experimental tape technique. It was created and recorded the day after Vermilion. Both pieces are part of a set of short works for prepared piano(s) which, as it would turn out, were created three weeks before the death of John… Continue reading 1992+30 Prepared Piano Piece No. 2

1992+30 Vermilion

Vermilion (1992) was originally a song for two voices, two prepared pianos and household-object percussion, part of a set titled “Four Home Dubs” from my early 4-track cassette efforts. This instrumental presents the two prepared pianos on their own, digitized from the original master cassette 20 years later. The recording was made during a stay… Continue reading 1992+30 Vermilion

Chaos

“Chaos, Part II” was recorded through the condenser mic on a boom box in my family’s living room, thus the wildly uneven volume of the opening. It’s a barely finished sketch meant to be part of a suite on an impromptu, DIY, “pause-record” cassette album; by default, juvenilia. This was my musical childhood. I was already 18, but… Continue reading Chaos

World Premiere: Dream of a Blue Elf

On Saturday, February 19, 2022, pianist Stephen Clarke of the Array Ensemble will present the world premiere of my solo piano work Dream of a Blue Elf (2007), as part of the prerecorded and livestreamed program “Premieres.” Event details and a link to purchase a ticket (CAD$25 or pay what you want) can be found… Continue reading World Premiere: Dream of a Blue Elf

Companion

Companion (2019) was composed through late 2018 and early 2019, while the first pencil sketches date to 2011. It is dedicated to my two youngest children. All of the material derives from seven-note rows: orderings of the pitches of the diatonic scale. The harmony resembles traditional tonality heard through a pandiatonic filter. There are four… Continue reading Companion

Holding Pattern

Holding Pattern (2003) is the closest thing to garden variety minimal music that I’ve written. It’s somewhat less a composition than an active meditation ritual. The steady, two-against-three rhythm established in the opening measures remains the same for the entire duration of about ten minutes. The right hand remains fixed on a droning, pendulum-like figure… Continue reading Holding Pattern

For Celine

For Celine (1995) was composed on the occasion of the birth of my brother’s first child, for whom the piece was named. It’s special in another way as well. It’s probably the first composition that is consistent with the general body of my work, though not necessarily an Opus 1. My focus as a musician… Continue reading For Celine

Livestream and Programme for “The Music of Bruce A. Russell”

Here is the link for tonight’s first-ever concert of my music by The Array Ensemble. Viewing is free or by optional donation. You may be asked to create a free account in order to access the livestream. Please consider donating to Arraymusic as they are a historic and vital part of Toronto’s new music scene,… Continue reading Livestream and Programme for “The Music of Bruce A. Russell”