The Dragon Lord
Fiat Lux. “Let there be light.”
In 2019, I was very fortunate to be invited to the University of Akron (Akron, Ohio) to serve as the clinician/composer-in-residence for a conference and honors event they were hosting. During my travels, I meet all kinds of people, and, generally speaking, I get along with them. I mean, look at me; what’s not to love? (kidding). My hosts for this event were Dr. Galen Karriker and Andrew “Andy” Freyes. An almost instantaneous friendship was kindled among kindred spirits, and the weekend was a total blast; I was genuinely pained when it was over.
Roughly a month later, Dr. Karriker contacted me and asked if I would be interested in a commission. It did, however, have two caveats: first, it should be based around the University of Akron’s motto “Fiat Lux (Let there be Light)” and it would have to be done FAST, as he wished for it to be ready in time for a premiere at an upcoming conference. I had roughly a week in which to create the work, but, as many know…I am a fast writer. Don’t believe me? Check out Four: On a Remix of Beethoven. I wrote that beast in less than 24 hours. True story.
I accepted the commission and tackled the project with the energy and enthusiasm that I felt during my stay in Ohio, and Fiat Lux was born.
Fiat Lux (Fanfare for Wind Ensemble) is a work that celebrates enlightenment, friendship, and positivity. The work is scored in the keys of C Major and G Major, which add to the overall brightness of its sound (you may or may not be aware that every key has a very particular character, but I digress). The compound meter and percussion scoring lend it a slightly cinematic quality that is true to my aesthetic as a composer and to the intent of the work. It is intended that the listener and performer experience exuberant joy and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
This commission was also Made possible through the generosity and support of the Mary Ann and Marcus L. Neiman Fund. Thank you for supporting the arts and, specifically, the creation of new works for the wind ensemble.
I hope you enjoy the work.
Let there be light.
Peace, Love, and Music.
-The tempo of this work is critical to its character. When planning your preparation, make sure to allow time for proper technical development to achieve the written tempos, lest the work come off as “boring.”
-Dynamics should be noticeable and taken to extremes.
-The percussion should be on the slightly louder side of the balance spectrum. Please do not “hide” them. However, they should not cover the ensemble.
-Several percussion changes happen very quickly. Be sure that the mallets and trap tables are well planned out to allow for quick changes.
-Performances of the work should have a dramatic, cinematic quality.
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