Ten international composers showcase their respective styles on MOTO ETERNO, the latest installment of NAVONA’s successful MOTO chamber music series. Like the previous MOTO releases, MOTO ETERNO is the result of a wide-ranging Call For Scores and a scrupulous selection process. Acclaimed piano trio Trio Casals (Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Alexandr Kislitsyn, violin; Anna Kislitsyna, piano), masterfully perform their favorite picks, including Three Caprices, a set of miniatures for violin and cello by composer David Bridges.
Today, David is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn why hiking evokes his compositional inspiration, and how his humor fosters engagement in his arrangements…
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
I don’t think I ever made a decision to become an artist. At the very least, there was no defining moment. Creating music, whether performing or composing, gradually filled more and more of my time and attention. The creative process forces me to be vulnerable, and while composing is emotionally exhausting, the performances are thrilling. After finishing a project, I can’t fathom not having written it.
What is your guilty pleasure?
At one point in my life, I would eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting on a regular basis. Now that age has caught up with my metabolism, it only happens on rare occasions. Mint chocolate chip or black raspberry, please.
If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?
I enjoy having the different perspectives of working in multiple roles. From composing to performing, and curating to event management, they inform each other, and I am always learning. Eventually, it might be nice to settle on one or two jobs, but I am not there yet. I have too much exploring left.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Hiking. Yes, I know, that is not a place. The gradual, and not so gradual, shifting landscapes, getting lost in one’s thoughts, admiring a flowering bush, and taking a rest by a pond at sunset are all ripe with inspiration, even if the resulting work is not directly evocative of the natural setting.
In addition to the visual beauty of hiking, the idea of movement is something I explore in my music. When hiking, you’re performing the same general movements over a period of time, but really those movements are constantly adjusting as the terrain changes and incline increases. You might need to avoid a fallen tree, pause to listen to a calling bird, or realize you took an intersecting trail in the wrong direction for a few miles and now a storm is rolling in…
A long-distance hike where every so often — instead of a lean-to — there is a cabin where I can spend a day or three sketching ideas would be a luxury. Alas! I will find inspiration on day hikes and commuting through Central Park, and cherish the limitations for now.
If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?
Oddly enough, the piano. I learned to play music on the clarinet and did not really sit down at a piano until college. When writing for ensembles, I will plunk a few chords or scales to have the pitch world in my ears and then sing through the lines, dictating them individually. While this certainly informs my writing style, I sometimes wish I could hear everything together and experiment with the material in real time. I don’t know if it would improve my writing, but it would certainly make it quicker.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
I find that my humor is best expressed through music, and my most engaging pieces have humorous elements. Three Caprices are meant to be witty and engaging without overstaying their welcome.