Release Date: January 24, 2020
Catalog #: RR8028
Format: Digital
21st Century

Spring Shadows


Anne Neikirk composer

Andrew Allen tenor saxophone
Wayla Chambo flute
Elizabeth Huston harp
Adam Vidiksis tenor saxophone

From the opening notes to the last few seconds of the album, the fullness of the experience in SPRING SHADOWS is impossible to deny. Like emerging from the dark, the way the album hits the listener feels fresh and rejuvenating.

The first track, Balloonman, is inspired by and built around the poem “In Just-” by E. E. Cummings. Neikirk built the saxophone melody, performed by Andrew Allen, around the tune of Cummings speaking voice. As the poet reads his work, the composer uses electronics to warp his recording, creating a sonic collage of ambitious textures all over a beautiful melody led by the saxophone.

Flicker is Neikirk’s “sonic representation of fire.” Again, Neikirk draws on the familiar sounds of a flame, the sharp intake of the wind draft, and the crackle and pop of the ignited wood as the theme of the composition. Through the calm chaos of the electronics, flutist Wayla Chambo performs in tandem with the flame’s unique rhythm, popping and crackling. As the piece develops, the music of the fire morphs into something more synthetic, adding an interesting dimension to an intimate sound.

Anticipation builds from the first note on the album’s third track, locoMotives. Inspired by the sounds of a Philadelphia Regional Rail Train, Neikirk plays on the anxious feeling of a train passing to create an arresting atmosphere. Through experimental harp performed by Elizabeth Huston and electronic ambiance, Neikirk recreates the heart-fluttering anticipation we feel as we wait by the station.

The album closes with Lung Ta, featuring electronics and percussion by Adam Vidiksis. Lung Ta is a type of Tibetan prayer flag that comes in five different colors. The composition is segmented into five movements: “Earth,” “Water,” “Fire,” “Wind,” and “Sky,” each representing the five elements. Her composition is an interpretation of the character of the elements: the fullness of Earth, the meditative coolness of Water, the spirit of Fire, the strong gusts of Wind, and the vast emptiness of Sky.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Balloonman Anne Neikirk Andrew Allen, tenor saxophone 6:28
02 Flicker Anne Neikirk Wayla Chambo, flute 3:05
03 locoMotives Anne Neikirk Elizabeth Huston, harp 8:33
04 Lung Ta: I. Earth - II. Water Anne Neikirk Adam Vidiksis, percussion 4:00
05 Lung Ta: III. Fire Anne Neikirk Adam Vidiksis, percussion 2:03
06 Lung Ta: IV. Wind Anne Neikirk Adam Vidiksis, percussion 2:43
07 Lung Ta: V. Sky Anne Neikirk Adam Vidiksis, percussion 1:16

Recorded May 14, 2019 at Grayson College in Denison TX
Session Engineer & Producer Daniel Pardo

Recorded June 21, 2019 at Norfolk State University in Norfolk VA
Session Engineer & Producer Gerald Thompson
Session Interns Arryn Brown, Jaseona Pickett & Ashley Searles

Recorded May 13, 2019 at Norfolk State University in Norfolk VA
Session Engineer & Producer Gerald Thompson
Session Interns Arryn Brown, Jaseona Pickett & Ashley Searles

Recorded May 14, 2019 at Norfolk State University in Norfolk VA
Session Engineer & Producer Gerald Thompson
Session Interns Arryn Brown, Jaseona Pickett & Ashley Searles

“in Just-”. Copyright 1923, 1951, ©1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust. Copyright ©1976 by George James Firmage, from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil

VP, Audio Production Jeff LeRoy
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner

Artist Information

Anne Neikirk


Composer Anne Neikirk is drawn to creative processes that involve interdisciplinary work. Her background in vocal music instilled a particular interest in the relationship between music and the written word. Past awards and grants include the Presser Music Award, an American Composers Forum Subito Grant, and inclusion in the Society of Composers CD Series. Neikirk has presented her work at conferences including those of the Society of Composers, the College Music Society, the Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States, and the American Harp Society, among others. Her music is distributed by ADJective New Music, LLC.

Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen


Andrew J. Allen is “a master of all sizes of saxophone” (The Instrumentalist, April 2018). In response to his New York solo debut, the Examiner opined that he had “performed brilliantly,” and the Wichita Falls Times-Record News has praised the “savory warmth” of his tone, while The Saxophonist has lauded his “virtuosic saxophone performance.” In demand as a soloist and chamber musician, Allen has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and Croatia. As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma State University Chamber Orchestra, the University of Arkansas Wind Symphony, and the Midwestern State University Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. More than two dozen works have been commissioned and premiered by him from such composers as François Rossé, Robert Lemay, Fang Man, Jesse Jones, Greg Simon, and Jay Batzner. His first album, Step Inside: New American Music for Saxophone and Percussion (recorded with percussionist Gordon Hicken), is now available through Equilibrium Recordings.

Allen has received accolades as a quarter-finalist of both the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition. As an ensemble musician, he has performed with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, the Bryan Symphony Orchestra, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, and the South Carolina Philharmonic. Present chamber ensemble activities include the percussion and saxophone group Rogue Two, the flute and saxophone ensemble The Allen Duo, and SAGA Quartet. Equally adept as a jazz saxophonist, Allen has served as a sideman with Gary Foster, Byron Stripling, Jeff Coffin, R&B luminaries The Temptations, and country music legend Ronnie Milsap.

Allen is one of the most active researchers and public pedagogues of the saxophone today. His articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist, Teaching Music, The Saxophone Symposium, Saxophone Today, The NACWPI Journal, JazzEd, and School Band and Orchestra, among many other publications. Allen has lectured throughout the United States and abroad, and has presented clinics at music education conferences throughout the country, including the Texas Music Education Association Convention. He is editor of the NACWPI Journal and serves on the editorial board of The Saxophone Symposium.

In the Fall of 2019, Allen joined the faculty of Georgia College & State University as an assistant professor of music. He has previously served on the faculties of Midwestern State University, Valley City State University, and Claflin University; and he holds degrees from Tennessee Technological University, Central Michigan University, and the University of South Carolina. His primary teachers include Phil Barham, John Nichol, and Clifford Leaman, and he has received additional instruction from Joseph Lulloff at the Brevard Music Center, and Claude Delangle, Vincent David, and Arno Bornkamp at the European University of Saxophone. Allen is a Conn-Selmer Artist-Clinician and a Vandoren Performing Artist and he performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones and Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds, and ligatures.

Andrew Allen

Wayla Chambo


Wayla Chambo is a versatile, committed performer of both new music for flute and the traditional repertoire. She is Associate Artistic Director and flutist with the Norfolk Chamber Consort, and has performed with the Virginia Symphony, Virginia Children’s Chorus, Christopher Newport University Opera, Dallas Festival of Modern Music, Allen Philharmonic Orchestra, and Dallas Wind Symphony, among others. She is also in demand as a chamber musician, performing frequently with Duo Thalassa, her partnership with guitarist Todd Holcomb, and with other musicians in Hampton Roads and beyond.

Chambo was Program Chair of the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention and currently serves on the National Flute Association’s New Music Advisory Committee and the Flute Society of Washington Board of Directors. Past appearances as a performer, teacher, and adjudicator include the Richmond Flute Fest, Hampton Roads Flute Faire, East Carolina University Flute Symposium, California St. University-Monterey Bay, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sweet Briar College, June in Buffalo, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and the Tidewater Classical Guitar Society concert series.

Chambo holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Bachelor of Music), CalArts (Master of Fine Arts), and the University of North Texas (Doctor of Musical Arts). She has taught at Eastern Mennonite University, the University of North Texas, and Thomas Nelson Community College, and is also a classical radio host on 90.3 WHRO-FM.

Elizabeth Huston

Elizabeth Huston


Elizabeth Huston has been fascinated by contemporary art since she can remember. She grew up on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, a surprisingly culturally active area. The daughter of two professional musicians, she watched in awe as her parents took her to incredible events with throat singers, experimental art installations, and 1990s cutting-edge electronic instrument technology. Huston’s parents were the founders of the first-ever youth symphony in their town, and a teenage Huston was often tasked with administrative duties including mailing marketing flyers, making copies, organizing refreshments, and creating room schedules, sparking an interest in production work.

Huston arrived in Philadelphia in the summer of 2010. Here she met a dedicated art patron merely by chance. He invited Huston to attend the many Philadelphia Fringe Festival performances that he was interested in. She saw performances by Pig Iron Theater and Lucinda Childs Dance, among many others, which showed how projection, costuming, lighting, and staging can change how one interacts with performance. Huston immediately began to think about how what she had seen could be applied to music performance, with some of its traditionally stuffy and plain staging. In 2012 she created A Change of Harp and launched her first concert series which explored what composers saw inside their heads as they wrote. Huston interviewed six local composers about six pieces for solo harp and created visual accompaniments for each piece based on what they had said. This resulted in a performance of dance, projection, theater, and harp which took place during the Fringe Festival, the festival which had so inspired her. The success of this performance made Huston understand that she had touched on a need in the community, and she began exploring other performance styles, putting together multimedia solo harp showcases all over the city.

She has since started the Arcana New Music Ensemble in collaboration with Bowerbird, produced numerous shows that explore new stagings of contemporary music, started a brand new harp program for Play on Philly, started a summer harp program for inner city youth, and teaches through her private studio. Huston currently resides in Los Angeles.

Having sung as in the choir of Salisbury Cathedral as a boy, Daniel was put directly into the spotlight at the age of 18 when he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. After a short period of study at London’s Royal Academy of Music, with Janet Craxton and Celia Nicklin and then privately with clarinetist Anthony Pay and with Hans Keller, he quickly established his career with early debuts at the BBC Proms and on disc.

He has been a concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, performing a huge range of repertoire from Bach to Xenakis and beyond, premiering works written for him by composers including Harrison Birtwistle, Henri Dutilleux, James MacMillan, Thea Musgrave, John Tavener, and Michael Tippett, as well as encouraging many younger composers to write for the oboe. His recording of concertos by Vaughan Williams and MacMillan was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Premiere Award in 2016.

As chamber musician Daniel is a founding member of the award-winning Britten Sinfonia, the Haffner Wind Ensemble, and the Britten Oboe Quartet, whose debut album was released to great acclaim on the Harmonia Mundi label in 2017. He also works regularly with the pianists Charles Owen and Julius Drake, and with many leading string quartets including the Carducci and Vogler. He is principal oboist of Camerata Pacifica, California’s leading chamber music ensemble, and is a popular guest at music festivals all over the world.

Adam Vidiksis

Adam Vidiksis


Adam Vidiksis is a composer, conductor, percussionist, improviser, and technologist based in Philadelphia whose music often explores sound, science, and the intersection of humankind with the machines we build. Critics have called his music “mesmerizing,” “dramatic,” “striking” (Philadelphia Weekly), “notable,” “catchy” (WQHS), “magical” (Local Arts Live), and “special” (Percussive Notes), and have noted that Vidiksis provides “an electronically produced frame giving each sound such a deep-colored radiance you could miss the piece’s shape for being caught up in each moment” (David Patrick Stearns, the Philadelphia Inquirer).

His work is frequently commissioned and performed throughout North America, Europe, and China in recitals, festivals, and major academic conferences. Vidiksis’s music has won numerous awards, including recognition from the Society of Composers, Incorporated, the American Composers Forum, and The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. His works are available through HoneyRock Publishing, EMPiRE, and SEAMUS Records, and PARMA Recordings. Vidiksis recently was composer-in-residence at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology in Zürich, and currently serves in that position for the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia’s 2017-2018 season. Vidiksis holds degrees from Drew, NYU, and Temple University, culminating in a doctorate in music composition. Vidiksis serves as an Assistant Professor of music technology and composition at Temple University, and as a performance and composition faculty at the SPLICE Institute. He is conductor of the Temple Composers Orchestra and Ensemble N_JP, and director of the Boyer Electroacoustic Ensemble Project (BEEP).


Balloonman is based on the poem In Just- by E. E. Cummings. The saxophone melody is derived from a recording of Cummings reading the poem. Cummings recites with a lyrical, lilting quality. I transcribed his voice as closely as possible into a pitched melody. The electronics consist of manipulations of the recording as well as motivic development of the transcription. E. E. Cummings’s voice is gradually presented in various relationships with the saxophone, and in the end the poem is finally heard in its original form with the saxophone in imitation.


in Just-
spring         when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles         far         and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far         and         wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan           whistles

“in Just-” from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962, by E. E. Cummings, Edited by George J. Firmage, is used with permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright 1923, 1951, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust. Copyright (c) 1976 by George James Firmage.

— Anne Neikirk

Flicker is a sonic representation of fire. Uniquely a source of light, heat, and sound, fire is a versatile element. Its presence is soothing and relaxing in one context and dangerous and terrifying in another. Like music, fire is temporal: it has a distinct beginning and end. Both build and diminish over time and with varying intensity. In this work, the electronics begin with entirely synthetic sounds that are meant to mimic the sounds of fire: the windy rush of a draft, the crackle of the flames, and the pops of flying sparks. The flute works in tandem with these sounds, creating its own percussive pops and whooshing tones. As the piece progresses, the intensity builds and a distinct harmonic series on B emerges through the crackles. This becomes the anchor pitch of the piece, and the flute reinforces the overtones that seep through the percussive pops of the electronics with various extended techniques. As the amount of pitch present in the electronics surges and then diminishes, the listener is left to discover that a recording of a real fire has replaced the initial synthetic imitation. The flute accompanies these raw sounds by whistling through the B harmonic series one last time and fades away with the dying fire.

— Anne Neikirk

Witnessing a powerful, fast-moving object fly past elicits both excitement and fear. There is a certain thrill to seeing a train whiz by at close range, but not without some implication of danger. I reflect this emotional content in locoMotives with dissonant, violent sounds in the electronics and harsh extended techniques in the harp that elicit the same excitement and fear. There are also moments of peaceful repose throughout the work, highlighting the beauty of the harp and embodying the comfort of riding in a train while watching the landscape pass by through the window. The visual component, a series of live shadow projections onto a wall, places the viewer both inside and outside the train and reflects these various emotional responses. The title, locoMotives, lends itself to a tongue-in-cheek word play between the train theme and the musical terms inherent in the word: loco for “at pitch” and motive for a short musical idea. The germinal sound source in locoMotives is a recording of one of Philadelphia’s Regional Rail trains passing by. Most of the melodic material in the piece is derived from the pitches inherent in the train whistle and the crossing gates. The Doppler effect became the connective element in the piece. I recorded the harpist playing several pitch bends on the harp that mimic the train whistle’s pitch bending as it passed by my recording device. Other sounds in the raw audio include the ticking noises of the lowering crossing gates at a nearby road and the whoosh of the wind as the train passed by. These sounds are all imitated in some way by the harp and augmented by the electronics. Finally, the natural dynamic arc of a train approaching from a distance, passing by, and fading away again is imitated in microcosm throughout the piece. All aboard!

— Anne Neikirk

Lung Ta is a Tibetan word that literally translates to “Wind Horse,” and is a type of prayer flag that is strung horizontally. Lung ta prayer flags are of square or rectangular shape, and are connected along their top edges to a long string or thread. They are commonly hung on a diagonal line from high to low between two objects (e.g., a rock and the top of a pole) in high places such as the tops of temples, monasteries, and mountain passes. Traditionally, prayer flags come in sets of five: one in each of five colors. The five colors are yellow, green, red, white, and blue. The five colors represent the five elements. Blue symbolizes the sky and space, white symbolizes the air and wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth. This musical homage to the prayer flags uses electronic sounds to evoke each of these elements, and pairs percussion instruments with the various recordings as a way to musically augment the experience. You will hear deep, low drum sounds for the Earth, real recordings of both Water and Fire for the middle movements, and the whoosh of the Wind followed by pure, quiet and crystalline sounds of the Sky. Each movement is punctuated by the sound of the prayer bowls. Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.

— Anne Neikirk