Louis Anthony deLise composed Iridescence as a birthday gift to his friend, oboist Nancy Rumbel. This superbly crafted piece of music has indeed an iridescent quality. If you close your eyes while listening, you will sense the ever-changing colors. The composition, Rumbel and deLise’s performances and recording all shine brightly. Iridescence is colorful as the rainbow, capable of transforming a gray afternoon into a moment of inspiration, magic and wonder.
Louis Anthony deLise is an American composer, pianist, and percussionist. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and at age six moved with his family to rural Pennsylvania where he attended the public schools and began his music study. Dr. deLise was Adjunct Lecturer of Theory and Composition at the Boyer College of Music and Dance (in Philadelphia). deLise’s first album as featured artist, Natural Light, was released in 2019. Then he released A Gift of Moments (2021), To Dance With You (2022) and Red Lotus: Chamber Music for Flute (2022). He is also the author of “The Professional Songwriter”, a textbook on songwriting.
Nancy Rumbel is one of music’s most successful and enduring instrumentalists and composers. She has recorded with many important musicians, including David Lanz, The Paul Winter Consort, and guitarist Eric Tingstad, with whom she formed the Grammy award-winning duo, Tingstad & Rumbel.
The single starts with piano and a light rhythm. The cool, lite jazz vibe makes the listener pay attention. The selection of instruments is very colorful too. deLise writes: “Part of my array of percussion instruments included a “wine bottle xylophone” (made of bottles my wife and I “collected” during lockdown!), my antique Deagan marimba, Antique K-Ziljian cymbal and other small instruments from my collection, including a scrap metal bushing I use as a bell!” Iridescent indeed.
Suddenly we hear Rumbel’s oboe. It is easy to tell that the melody is composed with the oboe in mind. It twists and turns majestically, underlining both the highs and lows that are this instrument’s strengths. Everything else is toned down, hushed even, making sure that the oboe is center stage. Rumbel is amazing, as always.
In the midsection, the neo classical sound gives room for some more lite jazz. The piano sounds magnificent! I love the evolving melody. And when the lead instrument comes on again, it is a short oboe and piano “duet”. How wonderful!
The eclectic collection of percussion instruments are more prominent in the end. It is up to the listener to decide how this adds up in terms of the shifting colors. It might be the palette of a soap bubble, a tropical fish or something else entirely. The track’s atmosphere makes it ideal for continuous reply; I can listen to it for hours, never getting tired of the vibrant musical storytelling.
In conclusion: “Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote. Iridescence by Louis Anthony deLise has, interestingly enough, much of the same effect. Before our inner eye, we see the colorful display that the music creates. It doesn’t take much imagination to have this experience thanks to deLise’s wonderful and heartfelt composition and arrangement.
Intention is important in art. I think that there is something truly beautiful about music composed as a gift. From Beethoven to the Beatles and beyond, history is full of incredible works dedicated to loved ones. It adds something extra to the music, I think. So is also the case with Iridescence, and even more so when the recipient of the gift performs the lead instrument. That is beautiful and special.
Make your playlist more colorful by adding Iridescence. Its beauty will light up your day, again and again.
For more information and music samples, visit louisanthonydelise.com.