“What’s your music like?”
I am concerned with music as a shared emotional experience: a three-way act of communication between composer, performer and listener.
I don’t write music to justify any theory. Much of my music has a tonal center of some kind, and at times one can hear familiar chord progressions, but at other times the music is more abstract and complex. Often I will juxtapose these elements within the same piece.
I often use paraphrase and quotation techniques in my music, which serves as a kind of autobiographical expression. It’s also a way of connecting with others. I write my music for people, not for history. Currently I am interested in the sense of immediacy in popular music, and I wonder if this immediacy can’t be put into a “classical” context.
The composers I consider part of my musical heritage include: Charles Ives, Duke Ellington, Bartók, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison, Arvo Pärt, the Beatles, Philip Glass, and György Kurtág.
I am not afraid to use repetition, but neither am I obsessed by it. I do not use complexity or simplicity “for its own sake.” I say what I need to say with the musical materials I have at hand, taking into account my own musical background, the musical experiences of my listeners, and the music that surrounds us today.
The experience of playing Brian’s music comprises some of the most deeply fulfilling and rewarding musical experiences of my career.Geoffrey Burleson, D.M.A.
Yes, it’s contemporary music that breaks paradigms and rules, but Brian maintains a sense of order that communicates…Sergio Castro Medina
What Others Say
Collaborators, Performers, Colleagues and Media
An informal Q&A on personal history and musical influences