Multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick Breathes New Life Into 'Float'

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At the ripe old age of 26, composer/performer Peter Broderick has more than 20 albums to his credit. This includes an album that's also a website, a 2010 cassette release with poet Penelope Joy, and this week's featured album, "Float 2013" – a rerelease of his five-year-old first full length album, "Float."

Quirky might be one way to describe him, especially after seeing his website, which is complete with self-made animation, some old homemade Super-8 videos, and his unique take on a bio, written with the help of his fans. (See also this video.)

But he has the goods to back up his quirkiness: he's recorded with M. Ward, Dolorean, Philip Glass and Zoey Deschanel, and performed with groups like Horse Feathers, Norfolk & Western, Loch Lomond and Laura Gibson. Since 2007, he has been a member of Danish group Efterklang, and the instruments that he plays include the violin, banjo, mandolin and musical saw.

Of his original version of Float, Broderick "wasn't satisfied with how the whole thing turned out." This year, he turned to his friend pianist Nils Frahm for remastering.

Frahm's version is clearer than the original, and it's fascinating now to be reminded of Broderick's first works and to see how he's developed over just five years. The tunes from "Float 2013" – mostly played by piano and strings, with some banjo and sound samples – are infused with the passion of a teenage Broderick living in Portland.

While some might find beauty in the repetitive simplicity of the music, others may hear something along the lines of elevator music. Hopefully, though, this doesn't discourage those listeners from experiencing his newer music, which has developed in an intriguing and gorgeous way. 

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