Since launching his musical career in 2001 by conducting at the Sydney Opera House, American-born composer Douglas Gibson has built an eclectic and accomplished body of work which spans several mediums and genres. His oeuvre contains compositions for classical music ensembles, dance, theatre and digital art installations, as well as film soundtracks and pieces for corporate projects.
Describing himself as a musical storyteller, Douglas has weaved his musical tales in North America, Europe and Australia with the likes of the Phoenix Symphonies, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Kiev Philharmonic, and other talented musicians from around the globe, including members of the New York Philharmonic.
Douglas Gibson continues his storytelling today in New York City, actively composing and producing, in addition to acting as an orchestrator for numerous projects. In fact, he recently made his Carnegie Hall debut with his work The Pearl Divers, which Anthony Aibel of the New York Concert Review called “remarkably exotic.”
English harpist Keziah Thomas, who divides her time between London and New York City, devised the project ‘Crossing Waves’ in order to use her transatlantic connections to promote the harp repertoire of British and American composers…
The idea of pairing British and American composers is a most natural one for her. Her program was well thought-out and varied; for example, her opening work—the Suite for Harp by Britten—was followed by the remarkably exotic “The Pearl Divers” by the American Douglas Gibson, who was born in 1976, the year of Britten’s death….
By Anthony Aibel for New York Concert Review; New York, NY
Douglas Gibson Quote: “Opening the hand of thought…probably my longest piece composed to date. It’s nearly 40 minutes. The piece was composed with the idea of working with shakuhachi player, Andrew McGregor. The inspiration for the piece comes from Buddhist tradition – what they call the Three Pillars of Zen Buddhism: Doubt, Determination and Faith. Each one has a different set of connotations to me, and this personal approach directly informed my musical responses. The inclusion of the Prelude was decided upon last, giving the piece the balance and depth of the entire form.”
Douglas Gibson Quote: “With my composition, Avalanche, what I wanted to do was to pay homage to my love of film music.
I’ve always been attracted to the big, orchestral scores of the great film composers. Avalanche is meant to be an over-the-top showpiece. The influences will be obvious.
The piece was recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic, and conducted by Robert Ian Winston.”
Douglas Gibson Quote: “The influence for Awakening Within is from the ancient Sufi tradition of Whirling Dervishes. I’ve long been attracted to the mystique and the beauty of their ceremonies. The opening cello solo is serving as an opening prayer.
Then, each of the instruments play in unison, one by one breaking off as if it was a dervish – starting to spin – until we crescendo into an ecstatic rapture. This ecstasy will continue throughout the piece, until finally the end, where we descent back down to earth.”