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Urban Light

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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.


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