Instrumentation 1/1/1/1; 1/1/1/0; 1 perc; orchestral strings
Percussion requirements mba, vib, glock, glass wind chimes, susp. cymbal, sm. tamtam, bass dr

Timing 3’30”

Composed 1996

Commissioned by the Windsor Symphony with assistance from The Laidlaw Foundation

World Premiere January 24, 1997, Assumption University Chapel, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario. Windsor Symphony; Susan Haig, conductor (part of the Windsor Canadian Music Festival)

Performances by Windsor Symphony, Vancouver Symphony

Programme Notes

. . . and there was . . . was written at the request of Susan Haig, music director of the Windsor Symphony, to be included as part of a large cycle of short works commissioned from a number of different Canadian composers. Each work represents its composer’s response to the theme of the cycle, Morning Music.

For me, the hour or so before sunrise is a very magical time. The quiet stillness is profound and almost tangible. The colours in the sky change subtly and imperceptibly; only in fleeting moments does the progression surface into our conscious awareness. Our senses become heightened; a feeling of anticipation grows. Finally, as the sun appears over the horizon, what was once an enveloping darkness becomes ablaze with light.

The title is a quotation from the text of Haydn’s Creation, “and there was light.”


Opening with quiet percussion and a cicada hum from the strings, the piece built to what I can only describe as a hushed peak, as rising glissandi mirrored the ascendant sun. Like everything else I’ve heard from Ryan, this sliver of loveliness reflected the composer’s careful hand, and a thorough knowledge of Ravel and Debussy’s century-old innovations. (Alexander Varty/Georgia Straight)

PDF perusal score

and there was perusal

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