Cave Paintings By Firelight is a single movement work composed for wind symphony. The piece revolves around an eight-note collection that is reduced to prime form (012356t). There is also a heavy emphasis on the pitch-classes C and F#. Many of the harmonies and melodies are symmetrical around these pitches in pitch-class space. Most of the melodic movement of the piece is found in the woodwinds which are juxtaposed against the relatively static brass with the percussion used to emphasize transitions into new large sections. The piece was greatly inspired by imagery. The main image for the piece is a large cave in which a primitive man is painting on a wall; he is lit by a single bonfire. The light (the brass) is ever- present, static on the surface, but nuanced and dynamic in deeper layers. The painter (the woodwinds) slowly builds his masterwork with long determined strokes that meld and interact with the light as each new layer is added. Meanwhile, the cave (the percussion) constantly reminds the painter of its role in this scene.
Level of Degree
Department of Music
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Symphonies (Wind ensemble) -- Scores
Amend, Michael. "Cave Paintings By Firelight." (2012). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/mus_etds/4