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Macbride's 'Music for a Large Space' Makes the Audience a Participant

Posted 02/27/2014
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Category: Campus Announcements
David Macbride

David Macbride

David Macbride, professor of composition and theory at The Hartt School, will premiere a new musical piece, Music for a Large Space (a public gathering), on Saturday, March 1, at 8 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Sigourney St., Hartford.

Music for a Large Space, scored for winds, brass, percussion, vocalists, and audience, is a piece where the audience is actively involved in the performance of the work. Each audience member is asked to bring two stones to play, “which have been chosen for their physical and acoustic beauty.” At various points in the piece, the audience is invited to sing and play two stones, to experience sound coming from all sides and directions of the performance space.

The playing positions of the performers will change at various points in the piece. These spatial arrangements and physical movements not only create a variety of different sonic environments during the piece, they will also help delineate the piece’s musical structure, content, and meaning. Vocalists, for much of the piece, are seated amongst the audience as audience leaders (“enablers”). The winds and brass will form a circle around the audience, and the percussion will be located in front of and in back of the audience (altar and organ loft respectively).

Performers will include the Hartt Symphonic Band (under the direction of James Jackson), Hartt Independent Chorus (under the direction of Matthew Cramer), as well as the audience.

Admission is free, although a goodwill donation is suggested. For more information, contact David Macbride at 860.768.4121 or

About David Macbride

David Macbride has written numerous works, ranging from solo, chamber and orchestral music to music for film, TV, dance and theatre, with particular emphasis on music for percussion. His works have been performed extensively in the United States and abroad. Recent performances include the Hartford Symphony, the Arditti String Quartet, League ISCM, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, World Saxophone Congress, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. For more, visit

Continuing the composer’s ongoing involvement with music in and for the community, Music for a Large Space is subtitled “a public gathering;” where music is made “spontaneously” and in a participatory fashion. A verbal introduction/orientation will precede the actual performance.

The title refers to space on many levels: exterior (physical space, acoustic space, etc.), interior (emotional, psychological, etc.), cosmic (large bodies as in ‘the heavens’, i.e. the Greek study of astronomy), empty (as in a hole, a wound, a void). The music, at times boisterous, humorous, meditative, is designed to be heard in a large, reverberant space, where echoes naturally occur and are directly calculated into the content of the piece.

David Macbride

David Macbride