Walls of Light (2009) - For Chamber Ensemble
For Flute, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello, Piano, Percussion
Composed for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble
“Walls of Light” (2009) is inspired by different kinds of light – flickering, fluttering, dancing, glowing, refracting and gradually shifting light. The work also owes its inspiration to Sean Scully’s series of paintings, entitled “Wall of Light,” which I saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The first movement explores flickering, fluttering and glowing kind of light, imagining a candle flame or light dancing upon a wall.
The second movement relates directly to Sean Scully’s series of paintings, which abstractly depict light as it shines on ancient Mexican stone walls. Scully divides the canvases into horizontal and vertical rectangles of different colors. This movement is inspired by the angular nature of the paintings, imagining refracted light jumping from one color to the next. The music is jagged but also lyrical, pushing and pulling the music in different directions while also offering a moment of peace when we may focus on a single rectangle, and explore the subtlety of Scully’s hues.
The final movement is inspired by a sunset, the many colors of the sky glowing and gradually merging from one into the next. The piece was composed for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble of the Aspen Music Festival and School.