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Descending into Light

Airplane travel is a common occurrence in our culture. One of the most astonishingly beautiful sights is the view of the earth at night. From above, the lights from the cities shimmer, and especially as the plane comes close to landing, the trees and buildings filter this light, causing it to twinkle.


Descending into Lightexpresses this fleeting moment in three movements. The first flies by with a light melody and quick runs that push the boundaries of both the alto saxophone and the trombone. In stark contrast, movement two begins with a mostly blank canvas. Before long, a twinkle disturbs, grows, and bursts forth until the amount becomes overwhelming. The last movement is an occasion of reflection created by simple melodies that have their shapes delicately transformed.


The final twist to this piece is the names of the movements. Taking cues from Dutch master painters, the titles are exquisitely long. When combined, they form a poem that aims to capture the moment as well.



I. As I fly above the ground at night

II. My eyes see lights upon the ground. As I move closer they twinkle for me...

III. Such a beautiful reverse.

Descending into Light

  • 9:00

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