Interlude No. 1, “Radiance” (2011), for vibraphone (1 or 2 performers)

4-mallet vibraphone solo or duet which reflects upon the recurring theme of light in story, using the sustained and intermingling tones of the vibes as the auditory equivalent of unobstructed and refracting light:

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Quick Facts about Radiance:

  • Completed around 1:00am Sunday, August 7, 2011
  • Approximately three minutes in length
  • Written while composer in residence at the Church of St. John the Divine
    • A post-communion interlude was part of this church’s regular service
  • Premiered Sunday, August 7, 2011 at a 10:00am baptismal service
    • Performed as a duet by Sean Kim and Ryan Marttala

Detailed Description of Radiance:

Radiance is a 4-mallet solo or duet for the keyboard percussion instrument known as the vibraphone, the vibraharp, or simply the vibes. This instrument has a sustain pedal similar to that used on a piano: when the pedal is up the bars are all dampened and the sound of each bar is quite short, and when the pedal is down they will sound for several seconds. This work calls for the pedal to be down for the entire performance, creating an auditory effect with two layers: the notes as they are being played, against the slowly receding tones of the notes that came before.

This work was composed as a reflection upon natural light, both as the life-giving warmth from bonfires and our sun, and as a common metaphor for truth, goodness, and knowledge. The use of sustained and intermingling tones on the vibes are intended to evoke images of unobstructed and refracting light. As an example, listeners may envisage the far-travelled light that passes through a colourful stained glass window, possibly shedding light on the story it portrays.

The potential to transcribe this work for concert carillon or kantele is too great to go unmentioned.

Known Performance History of Radiance:

  • Sunday, August 7, 2011, 10:00 am
    • At the Church of St. John the Divine, Arva, Ontario, Canada
    • As an interlude for a Sunday service
    • Performed as a duet by Sean Kim and Ryan Marttala
    • Work popularly described as “transcendental”

Available Files for Radiance:

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