LAIE, Hawaii An original composition, "Delights and Shadows" premiered March 24, in the McKay Auditorium of BYU-Hawaii in a recital presented by the School of Music. The new work by Daniel Bradshaw, a faculty member, was performed by Metropolitan Opera star, Ariel Bybee; Chicago Symphony violinist, Alison Dalton; and BYU-Hawaii faculty member, Stacy McCarrey, pianist.
Brother Bradshaw composed "Delights and Shadows" after winning an LDS Composer Commission through the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, which is through the BYU-Provo School of Music. The endowment was established in 1983 under the auspices of Milton A. and Gloria Barlow, who presented a substantial gift to BYU to engender and support excellence in musical composition. Since then, the board of directors and board of advisers have subsequently been engaged in employing the proceeds of the endowment to support four programs: The Barlow Prize, General Commissions, LDS Composer Commissions, and Education Grants.
"Delights and Shadows" was inspired by Pulitzer-prize winning poet, Ted Kooser, who is also the U.S. Poet Laureate. Brother Bradshaw created musical settings for five poems from Mr. Kooser's collection, "Delights and Shadows: "Dishwater," "After Years," "A Glimpse of the Eternal," "Winter Morning," and "Lobocraspis griseilfusa."
The setting of "Lobocraspis griseifusa" illustrates how the collaboration succeeded. Lobocraspis griseifusa is the Latin name of a moth from southeast Asia whose food is the tears of the water buffalo. Writes Kooser: "This is the tiny moth who lives on tears, who drinks like a deer at the gleaming pool at the edge of the sleeper's eye, the touch of its mouth as light as a cloud's reflection."
Brother Bradshaw's setting of this piece has a delicate, dreamlike quality accented with the violin's imitation of fluttering moth wings.
"If there is anything I'd like people to come away with from the piece," he added, "it is that the everyday things we see are deeply meaningful and potentially very spiritual."
Encouraged by Claude Baker, his composition professor at the Indianapolis University Jacobs School of Music, Brother Bradshaw applied for a Barlow Commission not once, but three times. Although he did not receive a commission in his first attempts, he followed through with the projects he had proposed. That persistence resulted in the completion of his piano trio, "Synapse," which has been performed by the Southern Virginia University Trio (Buena Vista, Va.) and the Jordania Trio (Bloomington, Ind.).
"Delights and Shadows" will be performed again Sept. 13 at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. A Chicago performance date is pending.