In The Dark Light (2016)


7:00 mins.


16 Horns. The horns are grouped in 4 quartets. The solo quartet is in front, another quartet behind them, one quartet on the left and the last out to the right. The quartets are separated far enough that the listener can distinguish between them.


September 10, 2017 by the Twin Cities Horn Club in Woodbury Minnesota.


In The Dark Light was awarded Third Prize in the 2017 Twin Cities Horn Club / American Composers Forum International Composition Competition for Large Horn Ensemble. View more here.


This piece for 16 horns explores the concepts of light and dark, hope, despair and affirmation as embraced in Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939. The piece seeks to fulfill Auden’s wish for a affirming flame.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 by W.H. Auden

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.


Recording by Emma Gregan and Alex Miller, both horn players in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Performance by the WMN ensemble from the Twin Cities Horn Club at the 2018 International Horn Society Symposium in Muncie, Indiana. Heidi Stodola, conductor. Sarah Schmalenberger, leader.

Video to promote the Adelaide Horn Jam performance of In The Dark Light, 6/24/18.