of Light and Shadows
of Light and Shadows is a sonata in two very contrasting movements that reflect on the interactions between light and light’s shadow-creating obstructors.
The first movement, Luminant Shadows, is a quiet nocturne in arch form, which makes use of some of the unique extended timbres of the saxophone and extreme ranges of the piano as shroud to more traditional musical materials also contained in the movement.
The second movement, Flickering Beams, Perpetual Wind, is a very fast perpetuum mobile. Imagine, if you like, a straightened-out cyclone: streams of objects pass a flickering light at rapid and potentially destructive speed as if propelled forward by a constant wind.
of Light and Shadows is my second sonata for alto saxophone and piano, composed fifteen years after my first, Sonata deus sax machina. It was commissioned by a consortium of saxophonists initiated by pianist Liz Ames.
of Light and Shadows was completed in Potsdam, NY on July 29, 2015.
Give a listen to the definitive recording my Stephen Page and Liz Ames of of Light and Shadows.
The first two videos feature Stephen Page, alto saxophone, and Liz Ames, piano.
Mvt. 1: Luminant Shadows
Mvt. 2: Flickering Beams, Perpetual Wind
The next video is a short talk about the piece and the recording process.
Below is the world premiere performance by Doug O’Connor, saxophone and Liz Ames, piano on January 16, 2016 in Goodson Recital Hall, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA.