Black Sun

Black Sun is a 70 minute suite for solo bass clarinet, mezzo soprano and string orchestra.

It explores the process of personal transformation through a series of new works commissioned from a range of composers, as well as an original composition created by Jeff Reilly for this event.

This concert was presented on July 15th, 2011 in a scaled down version using string quartet and pipe organ.  It was a feature concert in the Halifax Jazz Festival.

The repertoire for Black Sun represents a broad range of improvisational approaches from the tonal through the exploratory to the intense, dense world of British bassist and composer Barry Guy.  With three works by Peter Togni, it also reflects the extensive, ongoing and successful collaboration we have shared over the past 12 years.

Repertoire is as follows:

1. The title track and centerpiece of the evening is Peter’s Togni’s latest work “Black Sun”, using the evocative Russian text of poet Osip Mandelshtam, the work was premiered with the extraordinary voice of the Toronto based mezzo soprano Andrea Ludwig.

Video of the premiere of of the title piece: “Black Sun” (edited).

The suite also includes three world premiere performances of pieces commissioned over the past 5 years by Jeff Reilly plus two of his own works.

2. “Extreme Unction”, by Christos Hatzis is an exploration of the transition between life and death:

Extreme Unction, from the Black Sun Concert Suite by Christos Hatzis (Midi Synth Version)

3. Barry Guy’s  “IHI” (the Maori word for a ray of Sun), is about the essential force that brings a fundamental change of heart, and Peter Togni’s work “Black Sun”, represents the transformative power of an eclipse.

4. Jeff Reilly            “Creatures of Infinite Grace”
An open, suspended bed of strings under a beautiful, intense agnus dei chant from the 9th century:

5. Peter Togni                   ‘Illuminations”
A wonderful piece that fully integrates composition and improvisation:

6. Peter Togni                   “Light of Light”
A companion piece to “Illuminations”, exploring the transformative power of light.

This concert is best presented at dusk – the transition between day and night – with a focus on the extraordinary light that can stream through windows at that time of day. This effect will be enhanced with theatrical lighting to create an intense, deep listening environment.
Jeff Reilly’s primary musical focus is to perform and create music for the Bass Clarinet that integrates improvisation with formal composition. “Black Sun” is his most ambitious project to date and represents 5 years of planning and development.

News for Black Sun

© 2017 Jeff Reilly