Liber Illuminare

From Wind Repertory Project
Jack Wilds

Jack Wilds

General Info

Year: 2023
Duration: c. 5:15
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


  • Full Score
  • C Piccolo
  • Flute I-II
  • Oboe
  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
  • Horn in F I-II
  • Trombone I-II-III
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Timpani
  • Percussion, including:
*Crash Cymbals
*Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

On a trip to Ireland, I was able to visit the Trinity College library to see an illuminated manuscript call the Book of Kells. The tome is a transcription of the four gospels in Latin and was created by monks on the Scottish island of Iona around 800 AD. Each page contains the main text, but is also meticulously adorned with a variety of pictures. Some of these depict animals or people, but many of them are simply filigreed versions of letters. The Chi-Rho page in particular is a fascinating example.

As I looked over the pages, I was struck by the time and skill that was poured into each one. The longer I stared at them, the more stunning details were revealed. Liber Illuminare is a musical synthesis of this experience.

The main text is represented by a folk-like melody introduced by the flute I m. 17. Like many of the folk songs from this region, it blurs the line between mixolydian, ionian, and aeolian modes. It is also heavily ornamented, drawing on Celtic music's tendency toward heterophonic textures and on the traditional ornamentations found in music for flutes and pipes.

The rest of the material in the piece, including the introduction, is a musical stand-in for the marginalia and filigreed letters. The observer's attention wanders from the text to the elaborations and back again, with increasing levels of complexity portrayed by continual melodic ornamentations and progressively denser counterpoint.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by the Westwood High School Wind Ensemble, Austin, TX, Thomas Turpin, conductor. With the kind support of Perform America-TX, LLC.

- Program Note from score

The title Liber Illuminare translates from the Latin approximately as "illuminated manuscript."


None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer