An American In Copenhagen: Introducing Peter Broderick

In Introducing on 31 March 2011 at 16:16

It is great to see your favorite band playing in a huge venue with hundreds of people around you. A kind of crowd craziness. But the truth is the greatest gigs happen in medium sized places, with plastic chairs and small stages, alcohol stains on the floor and young singer-songwriters stealing hearts with honesty and beauty of the sounds they make.

Peter Broderick is a twenty four year old multi-intrumentalist originating from Portland, Oregon. His music education started at the age of seven, when he took his first violin class. This was not enough though, and the urge to explore the possibilities of various sounds made him an excellent pianist, able to also play guitar, banjo, mandolin and even music saw. As a session musician, he accompanied multiple number of artists, including Laura Gibson, Dolorean, M. Ward and Horse Feathers. When asked about the beginings of the collaboration with Danish experimental pop band Efterklang, he said: “I have been a huge fan, so I kept on sending them my recordings and one day, out of the blue, they asked me to come to Copenhagen and join their band for a tour”. In 2007 Broderick moved to Europe, and since then he has been constantly on the road, giving both solo and supporting performances in different cities and venues.

The guy who enters the stage reminds me of my favorite TV character, Spencer Reed. There is an adorable bit of awkwardness in his movement, though it is just another show for him. Instead of an introduction, he opens with a capella intro of Sideline, the first track from his 2010 solo album How They Are. Incredibly delicate and warm, his voice enchanting the audience slowly, while he sits down to accompany himself on piano. Extraordinary intimate mood. During the performance, he switches from guitar to violin, then back to piano, all done effortless and smoothly. His music could best be described as melodious folk. His voice becomes another instrument he has learnt to play beautifully along the way. His words, if left alone, would probably sound like poetry. For a person this young, it is remarkable how each and every note he chooses to sing becomes necessary. The moment it reaches your ears, you realize you have been waiting for it all your life. The good things always tend to end too soon and so this evening has to, unfortunately, leaving the audience amazed and breathless. It is one of those nights you want to rewind and repeat immediately after the last encore.

A kind of an afterthought comes to mind, while I am sitting now at my messy desk, listening to How They Are. I used to dance years ago. During that time I mostly got inspired by music – it painted pictures of movement in my mind. If I was to choreograph a piece now, I would have chosen this particular sound to work with. It is both gentle and powerful. Incredibly danceable, especially the instrumental pieces such as Pulling The Rain. Not a single note useless, not a single moment of music wasted. Well done, Mr Broderick. We do hope to see you sometime soon for another unfrogettable evening.

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  1. “it is remarkable how each and every note he chooses to sing becomes necessary” – great!
    When he entered the scene for the first time he looked like a five year old boy and you’re right- there is something awkward in his behavior – but it’s “necessary” as well. His music sounds like a wonderful soundtrack of the film. Thousands of colorful pictures form spontaneously in my head when I listen to him and it’s totally out of my control.

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