Riveradiant (2010-12)

Riveradiant has been performed on Sunday, 12 September, 2010; Saturday, 10 September, 2011; and Sunday, 9 September, 2012, on the banks of the Speed River as part of the Guelph Jazz Festival ‘Nuit Blanche’ by versions of the Radiant Brass Ensemble featuring Nic Buligan (trumpet), Rebecca Hennessy (trumpet), Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet), Lina Allemano (trumpet), Ellwood “Woody” Epps (trumpet), Tom Richards (trombone), Heather Segger (trombone), Scott Thomson (trombone), Doug Tielli (trombone), and Steve Ward (trombone)

Riveradiant is a site-specific piece commissioned by the Guelph Jazz Festival. Artisitic Director, Ajay Heble, originally approached me to prepare a night-time version of Acoustic Orienteering for their first ‘Nuit Blanche,’ and I offered Riveradiant as a more suitably nocturnal alternative. For the première, four players were spaced along each bank of the Speed River, each with an assistant to operate a light. Each player plays held tones which are specific partials of an overtone series shared by the players on his or her bank. In concert with each tone, the assistant shines the light with a corresponding colour gel across the surface of the river — the effect is like multicolour fireflies in the night. The correspondences of pitch and gel are based on some of Isaac Newton’s work correlating the frequencies of sound and colour. Originally, Riveradiant was composed for an audience in canoes on the river, but logistical complexity made that impossible for the première. As a result, the second version featured the entire ensemble on the south bank, with the audience, for the most part, on the north bank.

Riveradiant is dedicated to Roswell Rudd, who helped to inspire my love of playing outdoors.

Other works for the Radiant Brass Ensemble: