Christopher Patton, a composer and the managing director of the 21st Century Consort, believes that "the cathedral
itself is a form of visual music." Certainly his own work "Out of Darkness, for Consort and Lighting Array"
made the most of the contrasts of dark and light within the gigantic space. Much of the piece, which is scored for 15 players,
took place in near total blackness (percussionists made mysterious sounds in the recesses of the hall before running up the
aisles to join the ensemble).
The audience faced backward in the cathedral, permitting an unobstructed view of the ornate stained-glass window by
Rowan LeCompte above the main entrance, which brightened and darkened and turned aquamarine by turn - a lovely visual complement
to the score. The music itself was raptly lyrical and timeless - some vocal passages sounded as though they could have come
either from the Renaissance... The visual complement by Justin Thomas proved an immaculate fit.
THE WASHINGTON POST