The Light Come Down

for four vibraphonists and SSA choir (2012)

I first encountered the music of Bascom Lamar Lunsford on the Smithsonian Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music. I was blown away by the power of his vocal phrasing and banjo picking. There is something mysterious about his music that can’t be put into words—it’s simple and straightforward, yet elusive. The Light Come Down is my homage to Mr. Lunsford and the rarity of his inspiration. It is also a tribute to the musicians of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, who shine wherever they go.
The Light Come Down is inspired by shape note singing and should be sung using a bright and nasally sound. The first half of the piece is meant to have a hymn-like quality while the second half of the piece is highly rhythmic and energetic.