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Bryan Christian

Washington, DC   

Bryan Christian is a composer and data scientist based in the Washington D.C. metro area. His music focuses on the intersection of radiant harmonic landscapes, glacial pacing, and advanced analytics. Christian’s work is heavily influenced by spectral thinking, which focuses on sound color and change as a principal element of music, yet he also has a deep love for resonant major and minor harmonies. Leveraging his data-driven background, Christian weaves these disparate sound worlds together to create a harmonic language entirely his own — both new and old. The slow pacing commonly found throughout Christian’s music is also deliberate: it invites listeners to aurally zoom in and explore the most minute changes and interrelationships between the nuanced sounds.

Christian has received commissions from the New Music USA, Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the Lorelei Ensemble, the E-MEX Ensemble, the Aurora Borealis Duo, the Playground Ensemble, Festival Les Musicales, the Juventus Festival, the Monadnock Music Festival, and several solo performers. Christian was also the recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship to Estonia.

Christian holds a PhD in Music Composition from Duke University and additional degrees from the University of California San Diego, the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Christian is an MBA Candidate at Georgetown University and a data scientist at the largest credit union in the world where he serves over 8 million members. In this role, Christian uses advanced analytics and modeling to better understand human behavior, complex patterns, and life-cycles, which in many ways is not dissimilar from his approach to composition.

Of a rose synge we

Commissioned by the Lorelei Ensemble, Of a rose synge we recasts the text of a fifteenth-century English carol in a contemporary light. Although lines and stanzas remain somewhat intact, the macaronic text (in both Middle English and Latin) is not always presented in its original order. I urge the listener to read the text and translation before, rather than alongside, the performance in hope that the labyrinthine setting will move through the listener more directly and more powerfully.

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Direct your step further along the road’s course

The title has at least three meanings: (1) on a technical level, the title is a metaphor for the musical transformations, which are somewhat directional; (2) on a compositional level, the title refers to my continued exploration of the overlap between diatonic and spectral sound worlds — this work is perhaps my most balanced pairing of the two worlds; and (3) on a personal level, it encapsulates my love of exploring by foot. Imagine a road and in your mind’s eye direct your step further along its course.

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