David Eagle | The Canadian Encyclopedia


David Eagle

David (Malcolm) Eagle.

Eagle, David

David (Malcolm) Eagle. Composer, flutist, teacher, b Montreal 21 Dec 1955; B MUS (McGill) 1979, M MUS (McGill) 1982At McGill he studied flute with Cindy Shuter and composition with Bengt Hambraeus and Donald Steven; at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, West Germany he studied composition1981-3 with Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough. He was a doctoral candidate1987-91 under Andrew Imbrie and Olly Wilson at the University of California at Berkeley. He has attended music courses and festivals in Darmstadt (West Germany), Durham (England) and Hong Kong, and at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford U; in 1985 he was composer-in-residence at the Künstlerhaus Boswil in Switzerland. Eagle has received commissions from the Montreal Chamber Orchestra (Strata-Vari, 1980), Arraymusic (Renew'd at ev'ry glance, 1985), the Toronto Consort (Luminous Voices, 1988) and numerous individuals. He won CAPAC's William St Clair Low Award/Fellowship in 1979 for Zhù Fong (1978), and second prize at the 1983 Okanagan Music Festival for Composers for Within (1982). His works are self-published. Eagle married the composer Hope Lee in 1980.

Eagle employs a variety of distinct atonal idioms, and sometimes seeks musical analogies for the cycles and transformations found in nature. His music is carefully structured, intricate and dense both harmonically and contrapuntally, but still strongly intuitive and expressive. He has been influenced by the music of other cultures, notably China (Zhù Fong; Personare, 1981; Precipice, 1988). A series of works, begun in 1982, has explored the virtuosic, colouristic and gestural possibilities of various solo instruments (cello, accordion, harpsichord, organ, piano). Significant for both Eagle and Lee was Lumina, a multi-media event featuring medieval and new music, held in May 1988 in Toronto. Lumina sought to recapture in a modern setting the majesty of light and sound of the Gothic cathedrals. Eagle's contribution, Luminous Voices, adapts early instruments and performance practices to a contemporary vocabulary. At Berkeley and Stanford, Eagle studied the interactive use of computers (rather than tape) in live concert situations, as in his Solitudes (1990). This is the focus of his work at the University of Calgary, where he became co-ordinator of the Electroacoustic Music Studio and assistant professor of composition and theory in 1990.

Eagle is a member of the CLComp and the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

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