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Peter Bruun

Born: 1968

Nationality: Danish

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Photo © Lars Skaaning

Peter Bruun’s ability and will to think about the compositional and underlying issues of what music can in fact do make him an artist one neither can nor wishes to skirt around. In his works one senses an overarching ambition: a faith in the potential to find new paths in the work with melody, harmony and tonality. 

Peter Bruun is in perpetual mental motion and is always trying out new forms, media and modes of expression. In the attempt to pinpoint his music, one could add the word ‘repetition’. The general expressive quality of the composer’s music can be approached with phrases like rich sonorities, supple rhythmic progressions, stylistic flexibility, pronounced curiosity about unusual instrumentation, pluralistic thinking, tonal melodies, repetition as a form-constituting factor, displacements of certain recurring patterns. The last two areas give the music an expansive sense of temporality, an experience of sheets of sound or of music as a state of being. Several works, by virtue of their scale forms and rhythmic profile, recall the music of other cultures – sometimes called oriental or ethnic music. His open mind towards the many forms and expressions means that his works are a melting-pot for a variety of impulses where the magnificence lies in the ability to gather the non-contemporary into new aesthetic totalities.

If Peter Bruun speaks with en ever-clearer voice, this is among other reasons because he is not afraid to be too unfashionable. Concepts like avant-garde, retro, modernism and postmodernism are not seriously present for him. He is first and foremost honest and sincere in his treatment of the material and ideas, rather than intent on following a particular pattern. It is this very attitude to music and his willingness to help to realize it in interaction with other people that make Peter Bruun one of his generation’s most interesting composers.

Music theatre plays a major role in Peter Bruun’s work. He is a member of the artist collective FIGURA Ensemble, with whom he has made several music theatre productions, including MIKI ALONE (2002) for which he received the Nordic Council’s Music Prize in 2008, and most recently To All the World: Good Night (2014). Along with FIGURA he runs the music education project “Small Composers”.
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