Duration – 16:00
Trumpets 1 & 2 require straight mutes
Percussion 1: Glockenspiel, Bell Tree, 2 Suspended Cymbals (Small and Medium), Crash Cymbals, Castanets, Large Tom-Tom
Percussion 2: Triangle, Suspended Cymbal (Large), Tambourine, Crash Cymbals, Tenor Drum, Snare Drum
Water and Light, Fireworks at the Falls seeks to explore the interaction between the water and light of Niagara Falls at different times during a summer day and night using orchestral music and fireworks in harmony (though this music can be performed without fireworks). The music and the fireworks seek to represent this interaction using specific programmatic (more closely descriptive) elements as well as more abstract (poetic) forms of expression. My intent was to create a framework in which music and visuals converge into a “form” or new “whole” that, as in opera and ballet, is more than the mere juxtaposition of art forms.
Water and Light consists of three continuous parts starting in the afternoon with Mist and Rainbows, celebrating the ever present mist above the Falls and its famous rainbows viewed from a distance. The second part, Moonlight, starts mysteriously as the spectator enjoys the calm of Victoria Park away from the Falls at night. As the spectator comes into the sight of the Falls, the music and fireworks grow in intensity as the power of the Falls at night illuminated by the moon becomes apparent. Once again, the spectator leaves for more calm. The third part, Dawn, starts very quietly and grows in intensity as the sun rises above the beautiful sight of the Falls. As day breaks, the musical material from the first movement returns before going into the final coda section celebrating the majesty of the Falls during a bright summer day.
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Commissioning and First Performances
Water and Light, Fireworks at the Falls was commissioned by the Niagara Symphony with the Assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts. The world premiere performance took place on the evening of July 1, 2006 at Victoria Park, Niagara Falls with fireworks to celebrate Canada Day. Water and Light was also performed in the afternoon of July 1 without fireworks at St. Catharines Market Square.
The composer would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals:
Daniel Swift, music director and conductor of the Niagara Symphony, who instigated this project and worked diligently to make it a reality. As well, his enthusiasm, support and encouragement were a source of inspiration for the composer.
Sarah Wood, Niagara Parks Commission Event and Public Relations Manager, for helping to develop this project.
David Whysall, of David Whysall International Fireworks, for supporting this project and working with the composer in developing the artistic plan for Water and Light.
Chris Meyer, fellow composer, pianist and friend, who helped with the development of the piano part.