Taylor Brizendine is a 19 year-old composer currently studying at the California Institute of the
Arts in Los Angeles. Taylor has written for many mediums including Prepared piano, Brass
ensembles, orchestras, string quartets, and many other mixed ensembles and soloists. His music
has been performed many times by such accomplished groups, soloists, and associations as the
California Institute of the Arts Chamber Orchestra, Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, The Portland
Youth Philharmonic chamber music series, the Oregon Pro Arte Youth Chamber Orchestra, as
well as faculty members from Lewis and Clark College, and the California Institute of the
Taylor has studied with Portland area composers Tomas Svoboda and Michael Johanson. He is also a bassoon minor at CalArts, where he studies with Oregon native and Juilliard graduate, Julie Feves. Outside of school he studies with the former principal bassoonist of the Oregon Symphony, Mark Eubanks.
Though Hymn of the Earth is not Taylor's first orchestral performance, it does mark the first performance of a non- ballet piece for orchestra. Written for the 150th anniversary of the state of Oregon, Hymn of the Earth is very nature based, and unlike most of his works, quite tonal. Influences for the piece include the Oregonian scenery, but also the current political atmosphere. When the piece was originally finished in early October 2008, the ending was small and quiet, symbolizing a disinterest in the way the American government was shaping up, and an overall disappointment in the country and state. However, on November 4th, 2008 when President Obama was elected, Taylor happened to be listening to his piece and editing it. As soon as the election was called he couldn't help but feel a rush of excitement, and in fact destroyed the last third of the piece. In his new found sense of national and state pride, he re-wrote the ending to be quite the opposite of the original. Hymn of the Earth is now a statement of patriotism and hope for the condition of not only Oregon, or the United states, but the world as a whole.
Taylor's main influences include J.S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, and folk musics from around the world.