Urban Light

From Wind Repertory Project
James M. David

James M David

General Info

Year: 2021
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Oakdale Road Music, through Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $125.00   |   Score Only (print) - $30.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
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-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass (optional)
Piano (optional but strongly recommended)
Electric Guitar (optional but strongly recommended)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bongos
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • China Cymbals
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Floor Tom
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Ice Bell (or Anvil)
  • Kick Drum
  • Piccolo Snare Drum
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Slapstick
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam (medium)
  • Timbales
  • Triangle (small)
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Gong (or small Tam-tam or large China Cymbal)
  • Wood Block (small)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Urban Light (2021) is a brilliant display of colors, forward momentum, and intertwining rhythmic layers that is inspired by the iconic Los Angeles landmark of the same name. Created by conceptual art pioneer Chris Burden in 2008, the original work is an assemblage of historic streetlamps that were transplanted from various cities in California and also Portland, Oregon. The tight spacing and repetitive forms interact with the famously dynamic LA sunlight transitioning to the exciting nighttime glow of the city.

Primary melodic and rhythmic motives are derived from Morse code for the word “California,” creating an asymmetrical and syncopated groove that continuously builds in energy. Parallel “barre” chords reveal a classic rock/metal influence that reaches its zenith with a heavy percussion backbeat. Polyrhythmic layers and prismatic colors move over, around, and under each other, leading towards a hopefully thrilling and intense finale.

This work was commissioned by the National Band Association for its 60th anniversary and is dedicated to my wife who introduced me to the West Coast’s beauty and spirit.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Florida State University (Tallahassee) Wind Ensemble (Ashley Deane, conductor) - 4 October 2023
  • Georgia State University (Atlanta) Wind Orchestra (Douglas Tiller, conductor) - 18 April 2023
  • University of Lethbridge (Alb., Can.) Wind Orchestra (Chee Meng Low, conductor) - 5 April 2023
  • Berry College (Mount Berry, Ga.) Wind Ensemble (Alyssa Grey, conductor) - 2 December 2022
  • University of Windsor (Ont., Can.) University Wind Ensemble (Trevor Pittman, conductor) - 25 November 2022
  • Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond) Wind Symphony (Robert Schwartz, conductor) - 15 November 2022
  • Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) Symphonic Winds (Ryan Scherber, conductor) - 19 October 2022
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Orchestra (Andrew Trachsel, conductor) – 1 April 2022 (CBDNA 2022 Southwestern Conference, Waco, Tx.)
  • Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Andy Collinsworth, conductor) – 11 March 2022
  • North Hills High School (Pittsburgh, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Len Lavelle, conductor) - 17 February 2022
  • United States Army Field Band I (Fort Meade, Md.) (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) - 15 December 2021 (2021 Midwest Clinic) *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works