Dark Wind (2001) / John Luther Adams as performed by John Mann, Eric Shuster, Brad Walker, and David Woo for Dark Wind: Eric Shuster Graduate Percussion Recital
Written between September and October 2001, Dark Wind was John Luther Adams’ (1953-) first composition after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Through a chamber ensemble of bass clarinet, piano, marimba, and vibraphone, the Alaskan composer personifies nature in her manner of operations through Adams’ own aurora borealis-inspired palette cast through a slowly turning kaleidoscope. In the span of the composition, a dense harmony of cluster chords opens up and breathes before returning again to its initial dark state. About the piece, Adams states, “Like most of us, in the days following September 11, 2001 I found myself grappling with troubling questions about the meaning of my life’s work. Dark Wind emerged as an attempt to find some glimmer of light and hope amid the gathering darkness.” (Taken from Dark Wind: Eric Shuster Graduate Percussion Recital Program Notes)
A day after this performance, the BP oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana.
Image credit: Dark Wind Recital Kit French(2010) designed by