After Blue was commissioned by the Paul Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, for the New Millennium Ensemble. My conception was to use the diverse instrumental resources of the ensemble to create a kaleidoscopic panorama of strongly etched lines of constantly shifting vibrant color. The instruments are combined and recombined in myriad ways, sometimes featuring a soloist, other times tossing melodic fragments back and forth in spirited interplay. The music falls into three large sections. The thematically related outer sections, marked respectively allegro con brio and allegro capriccioso, are bright and extroverted, though not without moments of lyricism. In the centerpiece, marked adagio fantastico, the mood and use of instrumental color become dramatic and atmospheric. After Blue is related stylistically to one of my earlier compositions, A Serenade for Six, for which it is intended as a companion piece.