Down from the Halo (2016)

alto saxophone and wind band

A common source of inspiration for me has been the poetry of Walt Whitman. On one occasion, I happened to open up to his poem Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking and found these lines:

"...Down from the shower'd halo
Up from the mystic play of shadows, twining and twisting as if they were alive,
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me..."

This passage evoked an image of a bird flying over a lake during autumn in my native Maine. I thought of the saxophone as that bird; flying gracefully over the band, or dipping and diving around it.
Down from the Halo was commissioned by Novus New Music Inc., and written for Connor James Mikula.