Moonstone was commissioned by Dr. Roby George and premiered on March 1, 2018 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
A moonstone is a semiprecious gem that is named for its unique appearance - underneath a pale milky sheen, there is a warm blue color that seems to glow from beneath the surface, like moonlight reflecting on calm water. The Romans were especially fond of the moonstone and they thought of the gem as being born from solidified light rays from the moon. The two-tone iridescent effect of the moonstone's color is actually caused by the refraction of light, and is specifically labeled by geologists as adularescence.
Like the moonstone, this composition exhibits a dichotomy of colors. On its surface, there is a high energy torrent of activity. The work opens with a punctuated harp gesture followed by a highly fluid response from the clarinet and saxophone. Pointed descending arpeggios lead into singing melodic lines that are passed around the whole ensemble. Eventually the energy yields to a slower and more expansive soundscape, with a newfound warmth now emanating from within. Ascending gestures now characterize the texture, but the long singing melodies remain. These two sound worlds continually bump into each other, separated at first, gradually mixing their contrasting ideas into shared gestures.
Instrumentation: Clarinet in B flat, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, Harp