Vagabond of Light


Vagabond of Light is inspired by the image of fireflies transforming a dark forest into a warm, glowing expanse of light.

When Julie Hill and I began talking about a new piece for the Caixa Trio, I mentioned the idea of fireflies. She told me, coincidently, that her favorite word in Portuguese is “vagalume,” which means firefly, and literally translated is, “vagabond of light.” I knew right away that it was the perfect title for the piece.

The imagery of transformation in Vagabond of Light symbolizes something more. Not long ago, I suddenly faced the very real possibility of losing the one person who, since I was eighteen, I couldn’t imagine my life without. There are many emotions that flood over you when a loved one faces serious illness — fear, anger, desperation, sadness, and a hundred others. But, this piece isn’t about that experience. Instead, it is about coming out on the other side of it.

Vagabond of Light is a piece about being thankful for the past and being okay with the unknown future. It’s about finding the joy and beauty in the time you have right now and understanding that, because of the love you’ve known, the future is already better than it ever could have been...no matter what. It is about the transformative power of love, and the power that love holds over fear and darkness.

Vagabond of Light was written for the Caixa Trio and premiered at the Oklahoma Day of Percussion in Jenks, Oklahoma on April 6, 2013.

Vagabond of Light is dedicated to Liana. I would have never made it this far without her.


Percussion trio (marimba/crotales, vibraphone, glockenspiel, bamboo wind chimes)