Steven Bryant (b. 1972) is an acclaimed, award-winning composer whose works often straddle different media. He is a three-time recipient of the National Band Association’s William D. Revelli Composition Award (2007, 2008, 2010). His first orchestral work, Loose Id for Orchestra, was “orchestrated like a virtuoso” according to celebrated composer Samuel Adler. His epic work for wind band and electronics, Ecstatic Waters, has received more performances than any other piece of its kind. His other work includes pieces for wind band (some with added electronics), orchestra, chamber ensembles, and electronic music. He studied composition at The Juilliard School with John Corigliano, at the University of North Texas with Cindy McTee, and at Ouachita University with W. Francis McBeth.
Bryant wrote Dusk in 2004 on a commission from the Langley High School Wind Symphony and its conductor, Andrew Gekoskie. He says:
This simple, chorale-like work captures the reflective calm of dusk, paradoxically illuminated by the fiery hues of sunset. I’m always struck by the dual nature of this experience, as if witnessing an event of epic proportions silently occurring in slow motion. Dusk is intended as a short, passionate evocation of this moment of dramatic stillness.
Here’s the piece, uploaded to YouTube by the composer himself!
Read the comments on the video for some insights into this piece and composition in general.
Obviously Bryant likes and is comfortable in electronic media. He has a YouTube account, a Twitter handle, and a Facebook fan page. He has a fantastic website with a blog attached. He also numbers the revisions of his music like computer software: for instance, this version of Dusk is version 1.4. In his words, “The old version (1.2) is NOT compatible” with the new. He also writes dedicated electronic music. My favorite, which I heard when I sat in at his session at the Ball State University Conducting Workshop, is called Hummingbrrd. Click the link to listen, and prepare to be amazed!