Shadows - Jill JarmanThis piece begins with the philosophical concept that everything has a metaphorical ´shadow´: creation seems to require struggle, peace is perceived by the presence of conflict, harmony is released from discord, thus a balance (as in the 2nd movement) is reached by the presence of opposites. Conversely, while shadows prove an absence of light, for it is the shadows´ object that blocks the light thus creating the shadow in the first place, shadows also prove existence. So the shadow in this context is one of affirmation. A rain forest that cast no shadows has ceased to be. Shadows of endangered species will no longer grace the earth. Shadows then can be seen as both positive and negative. This piece starts with man´s conflict with man, a lone monument (WWII monument in London), depicted by a solo trumpet, casts a shadow. Echoes of man´s discomfort with himself arise as does the idea of conflict being the shadow of peace. The second movement, balance, shows a theoretical equilibrium as two disparate musical harmonies are sounded thus creating a third. This continues throughout the movement using rhythmic pulses which themselves begin to play against each other, creating new rhythms. The 3rd and 4th movements, Shadow dance, and moonlight and neon, are a more literal musical representation of shadows: the dance of shadows on a summer´s day and the sometimes eerie distortions of shadows at night. In Shadow dance, half the ensemble is muted throughout, acting as



´shadows´, to the open instruments. One is never heard without its ´shadow´. Jazz saxophone lines mingle with classical oboe motifs, a percussion climax has tom-toms shadowing timpani, a free semi-improvised section at the end gives the impression of shadows overlapping as they dance gently away. Moonlight and neon is composed in a languid, eerie, ´blues´ style. The bowed vibraphone and clarinet at the start gives the impression of deserted wet streets, lit by neon light and streetlamps, casting eerie shadows. A haunting jazz trombone solo toward the end denotes the moon as we are left with lingering sounds: sounds of remnants, of existence.

Movement 1 excerpts

Movement 2 excerpts

Movement 3 excerpts

Movement 4 excerpts

Shadows - composition by Jill Jarman



Shadows - Jill Jarmna