Every time I drive to or by Redlands, I’m struck by the unexpected and generous beauty that seems to suddenly leap out of the landscape. In fact, growing up in neighboring Los Angeles, I would sometimes drive by Redlands on family trips and remember myself wondering “what is that place?” long before I ever actually visited. Even from a distance, it’s enchanting and intriguing; all the more so because of the way it stands in relief against its surroundings.
In many ways, my piece follows my own experience of getting to know Redlands. The piece opens with rhythmic, pulsing music that captures my feeling of driving down the long stretch of the 10 towards Redlands; it is at first mysterious, but eventually takes on more beauty as the city comes into view.
The slower, more peaceful middle section was inspired by some of my peaceful walks through Downtown Redlands, taking in the attractive architecture, beautiful natural surroundings, and calm and relaxed surroundings. The final third of the piece is a celebratory and energetic return of the opening music, now brought into joyful focus. My experiences over the past few months of writing this piece – making friends in Redlands, seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of the orchestra and audience at one of RSO’s concerts, and being welcomed into this warm community – made this triumphant finale an easy section to compose.
Sparks will fly with the joy, energy, and diversity of American music. Enjoy favorites from William Grant Still, Aaron Copland, and Joan Tower. Experience the Coltrane-inspired virtuosity of John Adams’ spirited Saxophone Concerto.