David Bruce – The Consolation of Rain

RECORDED LIVE & UNEDITED. “The Consolation of Rain” was commissioned for Camerata Pacifica; for Nicholas Daniel, Bridget Kibbey, Ani Aznavoorian & Ji Hye Jung, by Bob Klein and Lynne Cantlay. This performance, from the premiere performances, was recorded on April 15th, 2016 at Hahn Hall, the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, CA.

Of the new work the composer writes, “We all take consolation from different things, and without wanting to be overly morbid, I would like to think that after I die, my loved ones could take consolation from the sense that I was quite literally all around them, in the air, water and earth as part of the natural cycle of things. There are numerous poems on this theme, including the famous “Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep” by Mary Elizabeth Frye in which, rather than being dead, the deceased speaks directly to us: “I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. ” Clearly I am not alone in my way of thinking there is something very moving about the idea that you can reconnect with someone you’ve lost simply by looking at nature. Perhaps an inevitable topic for an Englishman, the focus in this piece is rain. Taking Debussy’s method of portraying the sea in “La Mer” as something of a model, the piece is primarily an abstract musical construction, but one that constantly and variously evokes different aural images of rain, whether it be rippling, glistening, dripping, rumbling, swooshing or showering; gathering pace or subsiding; distantly echoing or vigorously present. But throughout, the impression is of rain not as dark and depressing, but as something positive, consoling, life affirming and renewing the ‘gentle autumn rain’ mentioned in the Frye poem.”