And Then There Was Light…


My name is Minuetto and I welcome you to this blog of mine. I’d like to start this as a beginning of things. And with that, I am sharing a piece of music that I recently discovered and have been very moved by emotionally. The title of the piece is Aurora Awakes and it was authored by a gentleman named John Mackey.

Mr. Mackey is an award winning composer in the concert band realm of the instrumental music world, born and raised in Philadelphia. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and then went on to receive his Master’s Degree from Julliard School of Music.

He’s authored many works. But this selection written in 2009, is one of his more well-known pieces.

I would describe to you what the piece is to reflect, but I fear I could not do it the justice Mr. Mackey can well do better. And so with humble respect for this amazing work and to him, I am sharing what he has to say about this piece and its origin:

Aurora – the Roman goddess of the dawn – is a mythological figure frequently associated with beauty and light. Also known as Eos (her Greek analogue), Aurora would rise each morning and stream across the sky, heralding the coming of her brother Sol, the sun. Though she is herself among the lesser deities of Roman and Greek mythologies, her cultural influence has persevered, most notably in the naming of the vibrant flashes of light that occur in Arctic and Antarctic regions – the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis.

Aurora Awakes is, thus, a piece about the heralding of the coming of light. Built in two substantial sections, the piece moves over the course of eleven minutes from a place of remarkable stillness to an unbridled explosion of energy – from darkness to light, placid grey to startling rainbows of color. The work is almost entirely in the key of E-flat major (a choice made to create a unique effect at the work’s conclusion, as mentioned below), although it journeys through G-flat and F as the work progresses. Despite the harmonic shifts, however, the piece always maintains a – pun intended – bright optimism.

Music has always been a big part of my life and I would like to share that passion I have as part of what I do and write about here. Music helps me see things. Music moves me in ways I’m still trying every day to understand better. I feel this piece is appropriate for my first blog entry. It’s the dawn of a new morning, a new day…and I feel as it moves along, it will only get brighter and brighter. There are of course other things this piece of music makes me think and feel, but more on that later.

For now I invite you to listen with me, this very moving piece of music. Close your eyes and let your soul be absorbed into it. And tell me what you see or feel? I see a wondrous, magical story that I’ll share with you all sometime soon.


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