Veiled Light (2021)

*available for purchase after spring 2023

Nocturne: Black and Red—Back Canal, Holland
by James McNeill Whistler
Freer Gallery of Art, USA

Veiled Light (2022) is a work that was commissioned by Mary Elizabeth Bowden and David Dash (DashDuo). This piece is a response to a painting by the American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler entitled Nocturne in Black and Red. The murky and ambiguous atmosphere of McNeil’s “tonalist” period has evoked several musical responses from me. In my response to the painting, I was intrigued by how the reflection of the canal buildings is eerily cast onto the canal as if the river isn’t moving. In the first movement, I was interested in capturing this phenomenon. The movement is very slow, with gradually changing harmonies, with a descending line in the trumpets propelling the movement. The second movement has a rapid, thunderous texture, with the trumpets and strings playing “cat and mouse” with their ideas and timbres. In this work, I was also interested in having antiphonal textures, by directing the trumpets to stand on opposite sides of the stage; from one another.As well as having their lines stitch together by having them complete each other’ s ideas or birth an idea from the end of another.

Dash Duo (Mary Elizabeth Bowden and David Dash)
photo credit unknown
sketch of “Veiled Light”