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Movements of Light
for piano duo
(2004)

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As it's title suggests, observations of light provided the inspiration for this piece. On the surface, each movement is a simple description of a situation or scene in which light plays a prominent role. I do hope, however, that the various mysterious, delicate, beautiful and forceful images of light that inspired me will also stimulate the emotions and intellects of the people who listen to this music.

The first movement, Passing Through Shadows, involves a low-light situation where some areas are much darker than others. In contrast to this, objects (or people) who first appear in well-lit areas pass through the mysterious shadows and sometimes disappear completely within them. Crystalline Sparkle, describes a quiet observation of the prismatic effect created by a finely cut jewel. The delicate play of light sometimes shimmers with unexpected colors, sometimes with a simple white intensity. The last movement, Bursting Through Night, is based on fireworks. It begins quietly, however, with the cool, quiet and mysterious evening air that will soon be shattered by illumination and energy.

Because the two outer movements of this set are dedicated to two of my composition teachers, I have included certain motivic ideas and pitch materials that they have used and that I feel represent them in those movements. One particular set of pitches can also be traced back to a composition by Igor Stravinsky. Finally, because Movements of Light was written at the request of one of my composition students (who needed new music for her piano concerts), the second movement is dedicated to her and her very young daughter. The performance duration of all three movements is approximately 17 minutes.

(08/2004 -- Paul SanGregory)