Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 101, Light Around the World

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.

One of the metaphors popular in many religions and philosophies across the world is the idea of light overcoming the power of darkness. In his compositional practice, David often meditated and sought influence from light and the energy that illuminates one’s mind and soul. It should therefore be no surprise that light is also a reoccurring symbol in David’s music.

This week, we examine three of David’s works that make reference to light: First LightIllumination, and On This Bright Day.

First Light

From David’s Program Note:

First Light has two characters. They are marked in the musical score as “unforgettable wounds – darkness,” and “perseverance – first light.” It has been my long personal experience that no real change, no transformation, occurs without crisis. We don’t move if we don’t have to. This is as true on the societal and environmental levels as it is on the personal. We are facing huge crises in our society and in our world, with every aspect of human darkness rising to the surface. It is my faith that we, with imagination, work, and perseverance, are at the edge of a profound transformation – a movement into light.

Watch below as the Philharmonic Winds OSAKAN gives a compelling rendition of this music.

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From David’s Program Note:

“Illumination” – lighting up, bringing light. I am especially interested in composing music for young people that allows them a vibrant experience of their own creative energy. A powerful experience of this sort stays in the heart and mind as a channel for creative energy, no matter what the life path. Music shared in community brings this vital force to everyone. Illumination is an open and cheerful piece in a quick tempo, with a very direct A-B-A song form.

Watch below as the Northern Illinois University Wind Ensemble gives a rousing performance of this work.

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On This Bright Morning

From David’s Program Note:

On this Bright Morning was written for a consortium of Montana high school bands. The focus group was the second band at Missoula’s Hellgate High School, the thinking being that this second band in a good music program would represent the technical development of the average high school band around the state. The music is bright and engaging, and at the same time quite soulful. It asks players and conductors to commit fully to a very direct and powerful personal feeling. On This Bright Morning acknowledges the struggle, and the feelings of pain and loss in times of transition, but embodies the pure joy of realizing the bigger life. On this bright morning, life is new, life is possible.

Watch below as Banda Filarmónica de Santo António de Piães gives an exceptional performance of this work.

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We would love to hear from you! If you know of any outstanding performances of David Maslanka’s music on the web, please email us at