Composer: Buss, Howard
Publisher: Brixton Publications
for bassoon and harp
by Howard J. Buss (b. 1951)- American composer
Luminous Horizons was inspired by the numerous spectacular photographs taken during 2015 by the New Horizons probe of the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons. The title of this work refers to one image in particular, the stunning backlit photograph that shows the illuminated blue sky of Pluto. The austere, yet enchantingly beautiful surface of the planet reveals rugged mountains, craters, and ice plains. The photo, "The Mountainous Shoreline of Sputnik Planum" is especially notable in showing the dramatic contrasts of the varied landscape. For some, the heart-shaped, Texas-sized Sputnik Planum has romantic connotations (one headline announcing its discovery referred to is as "Love Letter" to Earth from Pluto).
All of these observations are incorporated into the musical fabric of this composition one way or another. At times the character of the music is lyrical and romantic. In contrast, there are sections marked by angular melodic fragments.
Luminous Horizons is one of many compositions by the composer inspired by space travel and the awesome grandeur of the cosmos. It is dedicated to bassoonist Richard Meek and was premiered by him and harpist Jenny miller at the 2016 International Double Reed Society Conference hosted by Columbus State University in Georgia.