Making Light is a holiday composition for orchestra and two narrators, one adult and one child. When a storm hits and the power goes out, threatening their mega-event holiday Christmas party, Pops takes his grandchild Mila on a magical journey around the world, regaling her with wondrous tales of light triumphing over darkness. This piece celebrates various world holidays:
Christmas (Christian), Eid al Fitr (Islamic), Chanukah (Jewish), Diwali (Hindu),as well as a legend of of the Northern Lights from the Anishinaabeg First Nations.
Pops and his grandchild Mila are hosting a holiday Christmas party. Christmas cookies are baking in the oven, desserts and other yummy Yule delights are keeping cool in the fridge, Christmas carols are playing on the iPod, and the Christmas lights are shining bright. Mila can’t wait until the guests arrive!
All of a sudden, a huge winter storm hits, rages, groans and grinds… and then the power goes out!
Oh, no, the guests will be here any minute! Without power, there is no way Pops and Mila can have their holiday Christmas party now.
But wait just a second: there haven’t always been electrical appliances, electric lights, iPods and other things that go bling. Christmas has been around for a long, long time… and so have other holidays celebrating light the world over…
Forced to rely on their creativity to coax their inner light, Pops and Mila remind us of the true meaning of Christmastime, and of those holidays that bring us all together, year in, year out, to make light in the darkness. They decide to change the focus of their holiday Christmas party: instead of recorded carols, they will make music. Instead of plug-in Christmas lights, they will light candles. Instead of store-bought Christmas presents, they will share stories that remind us all—whatever our background, whatever our faith— that we each have the power of making light.
Note: this piece is mainly original material but does include musical quotes from the public domain.
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Jingle Bells (American, Piermont: 1857), Let it Snow (American, Styne: 1945)
Stille Nacht (Austrian, Gruber: 1818), O Tannenbaum (16th Century Silesian folk song)
Oh Little Star of Bethlehem
Sing along: Joy to the World (attributed to Handel: 1742) NOTE: any carol in C Major can be substituted
Inspired by Darāmad of Segāh: 13th Century Iranian Classical Music .
Ma’oz Tzur: 13th Century Jewish
Inspired by I. Sthaāyi and II. Antarā of Jayajavanti (for deep of the night) and II. Antarā of Bhairavi from 12th
Century Hindustani Classical Music of North India
Note: no music is borrowed for the Anishinaabeg tradition.