Light, Line, Shadow (2018)
a septet (for 7 players)
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, doublebass and percussion.
Duration: 15 minutes
I. Landscape in Motion
II. Brush Strokes
III. Open Road
Light, Line, Shadow is a response to Edward Hopper’s iconic painting Road and Trees, a painting donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Daniel Dietrich II, and the first Hopper painting acquired by the museum. My piece is in three contrasting movements, each referring to and inspired by an aspect of Hopper’s painting.
The first movement, Landscape in Motion, refers to the dynamic movement of the landscape when traveling in an automobile and looking at the landscape passing by in the window. Hopper loved to take road trips, experiencing America by car, and in one of his initial sketches for Road and Trees, there was a car in the painting. The first movement tries to capture that moving landscape as experienced in a car in motion. The second movement, Brush Strokes, focuses on the darker forest in the painting, as the trees become denser and the technique of brush strokes creates deep layers. There is a spiritual aspect to Hopper’s paintings, a kind of isolation and emptied out space, and the third movement, Open Road, dwells on that aspect of the painting before reprising material from the dynamic first movement.
This work was commissioned by Network for New Music, and was made possible by a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation.
Copyright © Pierre Jalbert, Light, Line, Shadow