Lightning Field – sax ensemble
Chamber Music, Sax/5'/Difficulty - Medium/2021
for saxophone ensemble with optional percussion
Arranged by Nathan Mertens, edited by John Mackey, from the original version for concert band
PDF Full Set (digital)
The University of Texas Saxophone Ensemble
Stephen Page, director
John Mackey’s “Lightning Field” takes its title from a work of art by Walter De Maria. That work is a massive expanse of New Mexico desert, claimed and transformed by the artist via an installation of steel rods: planted in the earth and reaching toward the sky, they call down its power – literally creating man-made lightning storms. Like them, Mackey’s piece speaks to the ancient impulse to summon nature’s power, and the magic such acts unleash. A sense of energy runs throughout the work, with the driving onstage percussion enhanced by the sound of thunder (provided by inexpensive hand-held percussion instruments called “thunder tubes“) surrounding the audience.