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Colin Broom - BLEED

Written for Icebreaker. First performed by Icebreaker, Glasgow, 2009.

Written for Icebreaker.
First performed by Icebreaker, Glasgow, 2009.

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c o l i n b r o o m<br />

<strong>BLEED</strong><br />

2 0 0 9


<strong>BLEED</strong> was composed for Icebreaker and was first performed in the concert hall of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music &<br />

Drama, 27 th April, 2009.


P r o g r a m m e N o t e<br />

“Does Style bleed?” I came across this question on an internet discussion forum. A cellist was hypothesizing that a performer working on<br />

several pieces in varying style may find aspects of the style of one “bleeding” into the other. As a composer, I find that questions of style<br />

seldom enter the equation during the creative process – if music is written with honesty, style generally attends to itself.<br />

What does however play a part, albeit often unconsciously, is memory: the memory of music encountered across the breadth of one’s<br />

entire aural history, both recent and distant. And, for me, it is this memory of past musical experience that does in fact bleed, onto every<br />

page of every score written.<br />

Once in a while, I become aware of this: of my memory of music bleeding into the piece I’m working on, as was the case here. The more I<br />

thought about it, the more this piece began to be about memory, and the way our musical memory bleeds into our present musical<br />

environment.<br />

We judge a piece of music not simply by its own merits, but by all the other music we’ve heard. Composers don’t write in a vacuum, what<br />

they write is shaped by their memory, even by that which they reject. The composer Louis Andriessen said that we “write music about the<br />

music that we love”. I would be tempted to take this idea one step further and suggest that we are as much influenced by that to which we<br />

have a negative response, even if it’s only with regards to the choice of avoiding it. I think we write music about the music that we live, and<br />

have lived.<br />

There’s nothing lifted from any other piece here, no direct quotation or reference. Yet my memory of other music pulses through its veins:<br />

memory of the music I’ve been listening to this past year; memory of the first Icebreaker CD I heard almost fifteen years ago; memory of<br />

the music I wrote before this and memory of albums I heard when I was a teenager that just bowled me over. It’s all somehow in there,<br />

transfused from anywhere in my personal musical history. So I guess in that sense <strong>BLEED</strong> is about the music that I live.<br />

P e r f o r m a n c e N o t e s<br />

The whole ensemble should be amplified. Both the guitar and bass guitar require volume pedals. The violin and cello should both be<br />

electric instruments.<br />

Keyboards<br />

Keyboard I should be set on a Fender Rhodes Electric Piano style sound for the duration of the piece, similar to the sound on Miles Davis’<br />

Bitches Brew or Bob James’s Angela.<br />

Keyboard II requires four different patches in total:<br />

Rhodes – A sound identical to that of keyboard I<br />

Voice 1 – A soft, pad sound, not unlike a synth strings-style sound. It should blend well with the ensemble and add<br />

thickness. Both the attack and release should be slightly softened.<br />

Voice 2 - Tremstrings (m.166-190) – A processed sample of a tremolo string section. Slightly filtered and with a good<br />

amount of reverb. It should blend with the violin tremolo at the same time.<br />

Voice 3 (m.219-235) – A version of Voice 1 with a little more presence<br />

Voice 4 (283-307) – Similar to Voice 3 but mixed with a moog solo sound. (Similar to the sound used in Tom Sawyer by<br />

Rush).


Flute I (doubling pan pipes)<br />

Flute II (doubling pan pipes)<br />

Alto saxophone<br />

Baritone Saxophone<br />

Keyboard I<br />

Keyboard II<br />

Accordion<br />

Electric Violin<br />

Electric Cello<br />

Drum Kit<br />

Electric Guitar<br />

Bass Guitar<br />

Approx duration: 18’

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