for wind quintet
Light, version for wind quintet
Light is a musical portrait of the magnificent power of the human spirit. The piece defines itself through melodic interplay, dance rhythms, and a juxtaposition of instrumental voices and textures. The bold opening statement returns repeatedly, like the creative pulse of 'the life force' itself. As the work moves through dynamic and rhythmic contrasts, a landscape of rich orchestral colors is revealed. After exploring new pathways and thematic variations, the piece becomes quiet and slowly rises upward, as if reaching toward the light, then concludes with a bright flash of hope and optimism.
Drawing from contemporary classical as well as traditional folk and rock music genres, Light is in one single, five-minute movement. It was originally written in the current wind quintet form, as a tribute to composer Liz Vantrease, and was premiered in that format in 1992 by the Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Woodwind Quintet in Richmond, Virginia. I then rescored the work for large orchestra in 1997 to further investigate its expressive potential with a broader, more colorful instrumental palate. In that version, Light was selected for a first reading as part of the American Composers Forum’s Orchestral Reading Project in 1999, played by The Plymouth Music Series Orchestra, conducted by Philip Brunelle, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Additionally, a version for small orchestra, was completed in 2021.
The current edition of Light represents a number of changes and corrections made since the work's premiere and can be considered the 'authorized version'.
Premiere performance: Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty Wind Quintet, VCU Performing Arts Center, Richmond, VA, 1992
MIDI Realization (computer rendering)