Brightness Catching

oboe, Bb clarinet, alto sax, bassoon, bass clarinet
10 minutes
commissioned by the Atlantic Reed Consort

Listen: coming soon


Brightness Catching was commissioned by the Atlantic Reed Consort. I wrote the piece to spotlight the Atlantic Reeds virtuosic ensemble playing, and to highlight the unique timbral colors inherent in such a diverse group of instruments. The title Brightness Catching came to me while thinking about the many musical processes in my piece, and how their growth and spreading out could be thought of as akin to the progress of a small spark catching and growing into a fire.

I think this is most palpable as the general mood of the music shifts from austere and restrained to something more exuberant and playful. There is also a slightly more subtle process at work in most of the sections of the piece, where different musical materials are being passed back and forth between members of the ensemble. Eventually, melodies that felt more like a call-and-response between ensemble members coalesce into full-blown imitative canons. As the piece progresses, and the tempo gets faster and faster, these canons get closer and closer together, unleashing a pent-up kinetic energy in the final section of the piece.

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