The Scent of Light (2001, 15')

for flute, viola and bass clarinet. Commissioned and premiered by The Darkwood Consort, Boise, ID, 2001


The Scent of Light is scored for flute, viola and bass clarinet, a rather unusual instrumental combination which has a unique sound that I find beautiful in its velvety smoothness. The title comes from a poem by Hafiz, the 14th century Persian poet. The work is divided into four movements, in which I tried to capture the qualities of the light at different moments of the day. Each movement begins with one of the three instruments playing alone, to be joined later by the other two. The first, "Birds at Dawn", features the flute, and has a playful and joyful character. The second, "The Heat of Noon", features the bass clarinet, and has an aggressive and energetic character. The third movement, "The Calm of Dusk", features the viola, and is more pensive and somber, while the fourth movement, "Moon-glow", has all the instruments together in a melancholic ending. The piece was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Darkwood Consort.