Nightcolors by David Loeb
For Solo Piccolo
“Nightcolors” was composed at the end of 2004, started in Kyoto and finished in New York. In the preceeding months I had seen two excellent exhibitions: one of seventeenth century Dutch paintings and one of nineteenth and early twentieth century Japanese wood-block prints. Both of these included a sizeable number of night views, which led me to reflect on the means which the artists used to convey a sense of nocturnal scenery. Of course at night we can see colors only in the presence of some kind of nocturnal scenery. Of course at night we can only see colors only in the presence of some kind of artificial illumination. Thus the ways in which artists color their works must suggest the night, rather than depicting it in any realistic manner.
The piece has two movements, but certainly without any intention of having one “Dutch” movement and one “Japanese.” Probably most players and listeners will find elements of both traditions represented in both movements, but the same observation applies equally well to many other pieces of mine, including ones without any programmatic basis. – David Loeb