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Rings of Light (2022)

Fanfare for 9 saxophones or saxophone ensemble

Commissioned by Taimur Sullivan and the Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble
Premiere: TBA
Duration: 4 minutes and 30 seconds (depending of duration of fermatas)


Informal reference recording


STANDING ON STAGE: It is desired that this work be played with the musicians and conductor standing in a semi-circle near the skirt of the stage in this order: left to right:

BARI 2, ALTO 2, SOP. 4, SOP. 2, BARI 1, SOP. 1, SOP. 3, ALTO 1, BARI 3

This is the same order as the left margin of the score moving from top to bottom of the score. Since the higher-pitched parts are standing in the middle, the pitch material and tessitura fan out from the middle to both sides of the stage.

Program Note

Although my music is highly notated, precise, carefully structured, thoughtfully proportioned, and although you may many musicians elegantly working together, from the very specific text, I like my music to have the feeling that it is organically being self-propelled - on the spot - as if we listeners, the audience, are overhearing a captured improvisation.

When the “inner-life” of the music is kept ultra-alive, such that the music sounds spontaneous, I am always thrilled and grateful to the musicians. For their sublime, precision and technical mastery, I deeply thank the saxophone players who play my notations in this way. Dedicated with admiration and gratitude to Taimur Sullivan and the Northwestern University Saxophone Ensemble.

—Augusta Read Thomas


Taimur Sullivan

Northwestern University saxophone ensemble

To obtain examination or performance material for this
Augusta Read Thomas work, please contact Nimbus Music Publishing.