Selected Early Works




Selected Works
(CCRMA Period)

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The Radiance of Her Light (1996-7)

for performance poet, soprano and two percussionists

On May 9, 1997, this piece was premiered at the Alea II Concert (under the direction of J. Karla Lemon) at Campbell Recital Hall, Stanford University by:

Jacqueline Thurston, performance poet and co-creatrix
Mary Linduska, soprano
Luanne Warner, percussion
Susan Jette, percussion

Program Notes

The cycle of the waxing, full and waning moon form the basis for the three movements of the Radiance of Her Light. In addition, the piece features two improvised solos, one by each percussionist. The middle section, entitled Full Moon Dance, has essentially a rondo form (ABA'CA''), with the variations based on the Yoruba healing rhythm called Lamba. Over the djembe, cowbell and woodblock emerges an increasingly energetic vocal line. The contrasting sections in between the Lambas derive from two particular metrical permutations of thirteen beats (for the thirteen lunar months in the year).

In both outer movements, jazz harmonic progressions are set for marimba and vibraphone. Yet their distinctive auras are created via the rhythmic energy of a medium swing feel in the waxing section and a very slow, meditative, "straight", and somewhat repetitive, hypnotic waning section. The poetic recitation reinforces these concepts with its richly evocative imagery. Near the end of the waxing section, the voice takes flight into a scat-like effect, but by the time it reappears in the the waning portion, it has receded into a translucent, sustained and lulling hum. If the final section of this piece puts you into a deeply meditative state, it has succeeded in its aim.