Light and Shadows (2012)
Recording: Melissa Vaughan, clarinet
Instrumentation: Bb Clarinet Solo
I came up with the title, Light and Shadows, after researching Goethe’s Theory of colours(1810), particularly his description of light and darkness and its relationship to color. Unlike his contemporaries, Goethe didn't see darkness as an absence of light, but rather as polar to and interacting with light; color resulted from this interaction of light and shadow. For Goethe, light is "the simplest most undivided most homogenous being that we know. Confronting it is the darkness." (Letter to Jacobi)
Conceptually, Light and Shadows plays with the ideas of Luminance and Chrominance, or a measure of brightness/light and the resulting color. Originally I had thought to make them separate movements, but as the piece was composed, the interaction between the two concepts became more interesting. Musically, the concept of luminance is depicted with frequent changes in register and dynamics. The contrast between fast and slow sections as well as diatonic verses chromatic passages represent all the contrasting colors that result from the dynamic interplay of darkness and light.
-Theresa Martin 1/3/13