contemporary classical
music publishing

Phillip Neil Martin

Nights Bright Days
Phillip Neil Martin Nights Bright Days
Phillip Neil Martin Nights Bright Days

for orchestra

Availability: In stock

Product Name Price Qty
Nights Bright Days - score
Nights Bright Days - score (download)

Share this work
Facebook Twitter Email

Be the first to review this product


Nights bright days is based upon images of the 'Aurora Borealis' (The Northern Lights), a phenomenon that has fascinated my delight of colour and texture since I was a child. These lights can give the impression of a magnificent false dawn that glints and sparkles where swarms of colour can dance across the night sky or suddenly build only to dissolve again back to the gentle flicker of celestial lights. The title 'Nights bright days' is taken from William Shakespeare's Sonnet no.43.

The piece falls into two parts, the first consisting primarily of slower tempi, the second (starting at bar 122) chiefly of faster tempi. The two parts are related in several ways and share musical material, partly due to a varying refrain structure in which the music of the opening pages returns throughout the piece in varying guises. The refrains are never exact repeats - they take on different variants. The nucleus to the work is the chord first settled upon at b.9. As well as being an integral part of the aforementioned refrain structure, the music will often return to the chord separately and in transformations. The primary pitch of this chord and the piece is D. The music constantly looks towards this note seeking different ways to interpret this 'synthetic tonic', which acts as a magnet throughout, attracting material towards it, trying to impose itself or fighting against the music. Another important harmonic fingerprint are the open fifth fanfares. Other intervals play a dramatic role in the musical structure, notably the motive spanning a rising third (itself harmonised up a third) and the 'rocking' major second.

Just as images of the 'Aurora Borealis' seem, in a constant stream, to mirror their own movement and colour in different shapes and forms, so I strove to do this in the textures of Nights bright days as well. Huge textural build-ups reflect equally large dissolving moments across the whole structure. This is also true of many different lines that are reflected in various directions like the long violin melody near the beginning echoed later on by the Celli. Other examples are the chimes or bell chords across the whole canvas being deflected into different registers, dynamics or orchestral corners. All these particles create a constantly changing rocking motion, or on a smaller scale, a shimmering akin to the 'Aurora Borealis' as it reflects off the winter landscape with which I associate it most of all. The piece ends alluding to the opening strike of the crotale, unsure if this is the real dawn or the start of another play of colours in the sky.

Additional Information

Composer Phillip Neil Martin
Year of Composition 2002
Instrumentation orchestra
Duration ca. 13'
Student Difficulty No

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.