Red Light Horizon (ten jazz musicians)
Run time: 5’+, depending on solos. Provided instrumentation: SATB saxophones, trumpet, vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass, and drums. N.B: Red Light Horizon is also available for nine musicians (no vibraphone) and big band.
“As long as you can see those, you’ll always be able to find your way home.” Red Light Horizon is a song of returning, of the joy (however brief) of rejoining those who make you feel most at home.
During the summer of 2016, I was approached to participate in what was at the time a nascent effort to increase the visibility of jazz composers in the local scene. That project later became the Nash Composers’ Coalition, an ensemble of composers of various ages, skill sets, and backgrounds creating new works for jazz ensemble, the instrumentation of which was determined by the group’s personnel at a given time. For its inaugural concert, there were ten of us, providing an opportunity to write for either a very large combo or a very small big band, depending on how you looked at it. As I was looking to broaden my jazz music-making horizons beyond what I was doing at school, I couldn’t wait to get started – and I’d already found my title.
Red Light Horizon, the concept, popped into my mind just weeks before, when I was visiting friends at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. It was the end of a week of music-making and adventures, and one of my companions was driving us home after an evening of board games and painting. As we drove, he pointed out a group of bright red lights atop power poles in the distance. “They’re for planes, but that’s campus,” he said. “As long as you can see those, you’ll always be able to find your way home.” That stuck with me, and I resolved to write a piece that embodies both the energy of those friends during that week and the joy of finding one’s way home.
Red Light Horizon perusal (preview before you buy!)
Run time: 5’+, depending on solos. Provided instrumentation: SATB saxophones, trumpet, vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass, and drums. N.B: Red Light Horizon is also available for nine musicians (no vibraphone) and big band. The big band version can be found by clicking here; if you’d like the nine-musician version, please use my Contact page to get ahold of me.
Listen to the Nash Composers Coalition giving the world premiere:
- 4/1/2017: 9-musician version, Recital Hall, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
- 12/9/2019: 10-musician version, Nash Composers Coalition, the Nash, Phoenix, AZ (world premiere)