Bathing Sunphotons (2020)
For Soprano and Double Bass.
For the #GLFCAMGigThruCOVID Project.
Premiered by Alexandra Smither and Austin Lewellen on September 17, 2020.
Bathing Sunphotons starts at 01:53
This piece was created for the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music Gig Thru COVID project. This project was created to support musicians during our dark days during the COVID pandemic. As a composer I was paired with amazing musicians, Alexandra Smither and Austin Lewellen. After listening to their work, I had a wonderful conversation with them. I met with them because I always love to meet with my performers, to talk with them, get a sense of their interests and their personality.
The piece was inspired by them and written for them. Alexandra is very energetic. She radiants sunshine and optimism. Austin is more quiet, with a more calm personality. In the piece I imagine sunlight bathing, dancing, waves and streams of light. But then there is the color of enigma, some mysterious color.
I use harmonics glissando, a wonderful technique on the bass because there are so many partials, some brighter, some noisier, sometimes unpredictability, with some extra sounds appearing. I use the D fundamental for these harmonics because D and D major has the color of yellow-gold. The voice sings bright gestures, almost like a fanfare, alongside the more mysterious, alien-like sounds in the bass. In my imagination I explored sunlight, sunphotons, the physical event of light, the colorful event of light. It is more abstract, spacious, with the color of gold.