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These Radiant Moments

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Harrison J. Collins

Harrison J. Collins

General Info

Year: 2022
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: J Stands for Joe Music, through Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $145.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Tom-Toms (3)
  • Triangle (large)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

At the age of 20, I had my first true, actual existential crisis. I saw the impermanence of life -- of my life and of the lives of those I know and love and of all life. I saw life in the context of our great universe -- if the 13.8-billion-year history of the universe was condensed down to one year, the entire existence of humankind would have only happened in the last ten minutes of December 31st. In this frame, a single human life lasts for the only blink of an eye. This hit me hard. I had already been afflicted with great anxiety over my identity and what I was going to do with my life and just about everything else -- a condition that, I was informed, is commonly referred to as "growing up". Now, I was paralyzed by the weight of knowing this life was infinitesimally brief.

And, yet, as I took the time to learn how to hold that weight, I began to see something within it. Something good. I realized how beautiful it is that we each have this one blink of an eye -- that our lives are like a flash of light or the ringing of a bell, nothing and then something and then nothing again, all in one radiant moment. I saw that it is the brevity of this moment that gives it meaning and value. If it never ended, it would simply be another nothing; it is because it does not last that it is something.

This is the realization from which These Radiant Moments comes. This work opens with a melody I wrote right around the time I had that crisis -- it's a playful, naïve melody, one that is young and energetic and full of life. Over five minutes, it takes turns with a more melancholy melody, growing older and perhaps wiser. Eventually it reaches a point of rapturous celebration for our time, and then, like a star reaching the end of its life, it explodes outward in a brilliant flash of sound that rings and, like we will, returns to nothing.

At the time I am writing these notes, I am 22 years old. I know astonishingly little, but I do know this: we have come from nothing to share these radiant moments, and we will return to nothing when we are done. In this moment, we must do all we can. We must feel and we must care and we must love and we must live.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by Dr. John Seybert and the Upper St. Clair High School Wind Ensemble.

"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and let the future in." – Graham Greene

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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