CAVERNS OF DARKNESS, RINGS OF LIGHT for Tuba Solo, Recorded Sounds, and Video (optional), 2007.  DVD Version of Performance: 2011.

Duration: 12:53

Performance practicality: Moderately difficult to difficult:  m4a sounds on Quicktime or other player and directions in score. Video for the tubist is on a DVD to be played as written in score.


Commissioned by James Gourlay, U.K. tubist of renown, in 2006, CAVERNS OF DARKNESS, RINGS OF LIGHT is the second music for solo tuba and recorded sounds created by Priscilla McLean, except that this time, McLean created a video as an intrinsic part of the piece, with James Gourlay as tubist in the film (The first tuba solo & recorded sounds [whales] was the BENEATH THE HORIZON series, 1978-79). To create CAVERNS, McLean flew to the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England to record Gourlay in May of 2006.  Her idea for this piece was to feature only the tuba— tuba images in the video, and tuba sounds on the CD, altered at times through electronic sampling and effects in her home studio in Petersburgh, NY.  The video images inspired the title, with the image of a person traveling through the tuba bell to its cavernous interior, and near the end, the tuba mouthpiece featured as rings around Gourlay, who sits in the middle of the tuba bell while performing.  All the recorded sounds are also from Gourlay, featuring his fine virtuosic performance.

CAVERNS OF DARKNESS, RINGS OF LIGHT was premiered by James Gourlay at a Lunchtime Concert, November 9, 2007 at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, Glasgow. Since then, Gourlay has presented this work to audiences and classes in Europe and throughout the U.S.  The score, recorded sounds and video are published by MLC Publications, and available through contact with the composer.  


CAVERNS OF DARKNESS, RINGS OF LIGHT is available on a “Cries and Echoes” DVD, available through MLC Publications, 55 Coon Brook Rd., Petersburgh, NY 12138 (mclmix@fairpoint.net).