Every spring there is a great gathering of guitar ensembles called the Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival. This year it was in our home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The festival always features a mass guitar ensemble to play a premier composition written for that year’s festival. This year I was asked to write the composition! The piece I wrote for the festival, Dance Under the Red Moon included members from 23 different ensembles with over 180 guitarists. It was quite a sight! So many guitarists all reading music! Many thanks to Brian Morris for putting the festival together and for commissioning the composition. Here is a sample from one of the rehearsals before the concert: Dance Under the Red Moon Video
And here is a little bit about my compositional process and the name…
After a 50 mile backpacking trip in Ontario at Killarney Provincial Park and a week long stay at a rustic cabin in the Porcupine Mountains I had the material I needed to write the piece. Then followed 2 months of hard work and the piece was finished. But, I still didn’t have a name for the piece.
However, on the night before the deadline I had to finish the piece there was a spectacular lunar “blood moon” eclipse. And here I took the name, Dance Under the Red Moon.