SHEET MUSIC STORE
I wrote Fossil Light for an orchestration workshop in graduate school back in 2010-11. The title was inspired by a line in a book where the author referred to starlight as "Fossil Light." Each movement depicts a different viewpoint of the light: the bold, intense sight at the source of the star, the faint, ages-old dots we see in the sky, and the traveling of the light particles in between.
Though score and parts are unfortunately unavailable, I'm always up for a commission! Please send me a note if you would be interested in collaborating!
About the Work
I completed Steps for tenor saxophone and wind ensemble in 2015. At that point in time, Steps was the second movement of a two-movement work, That Takes Care 'a That (silly name for a dissertation!). Since then, I have decided to turn it into a stand-alone piece. Below, you'll find the original score and sample recordings. Though revisiting a work that is a few years old can be a daunting task for a composer, there are some moments in Steps that I'm truly excited about developing more. My goal is to complete the work by 2025.
Are you a saxophonist, conductor, or member of an ensemble that would be interested in being part of the process and premiere? Or, would you simply like to be among the first to know when the score and parts are available? Please let me know by filling out the form below. I'm open to putting together a consortium, and I would much appreciate any help or feedback.
Steps is an endless, wandering melody. Its peaceful moments can be attributed to the countless hours I spent on the beaches of Montaña de Oro while writing it. Similar to another recent work, on the edge for alto saxophone and guitar, Steps depicts hiking solo in California. Two landmarks influenced the shape of this movement. The first is Tahquitz Peak in Idyllwild, a 360-degree viewpoint at 8,000 feet, where mountains, desert, distant lakes, alpine greenery, and rock formations can all be seen from one viewpoint. Likewise, when hiking the coast in Montaña de Oro, something new comes into view with every turn, from sand dunes to beach coves, morros, and grassy fields. Steps portrays the ability to see such a variety of ecosystems and terrain all at the same time, a California feature that I have become fascinated with. Landscapes that come into view while climbing a hill are represented in the music by textures that emerge and fade. A choir of clarinets creates murmuring effects, while swelling drones pass from one instrument to another, the brass grows into chorales, and the saxophone solo constantly meanders. Every time a theme returns, its profile changes within its context, just as the view of a landscape may reveal different sights when it is looked at from a different viewpoint.
Steps was written for and premiered by the California Polytechnic State University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Andrew McMahan in June 2015.