Duration: ca. 12 minutes
Programme Note: Illuminations was commissioned by Judy Loman through a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and was written especially for concert at the International Harp Congress in Cleveland, June 21, 2000. The piece is divided into 3 movements that deal with different levels of light. Each movement moves to a point of greater clarity as the illumination becomes more intense.
The first movement, “Star” is the most distant and diffuse. There are many sources of light but none is enough to focus on any one single idea. The second movement, “Candle”, is more intimate and steady. There are fewer musical gestures and ideas so the clarity is greater. The third movement, “Arc” refers to the light that is created by the electric currents across a gap between 2 electrodes. It is bright; it is focused; it is intense.
The piece was inspired by the writings of Joey Umbrico, Judy’s son who is a non-verbal autistic. In 1993, Joey was working with a facilitator who was able to help him communicate his feelings through writing. At that time, Joey began to write about being autistic, and what it felt like to be unable to communicate with the world around him. He wrote of waiting for people to find him trapped within himself, and that his life really began when others started to see him.
Premiere: First performance by Judy Loman, Cleveland, June 21, 2000.
Recording(s): Recorded by Judy Loman.