SYZYGY (2016)

Scoring: horn and cello

I. Penumbra
II. Immunditia
III. Litany: Posteriora Dei

4 min. excerpt from III. Litany: Posteriora Dei

* Full concert recording is available upon request.

Selected for a Cello Loft Commission, 2015

Performance(s) history:
Nicolee Kuester, Horn, Eric Moore, violoncello
Center for New Music, San Francisco, US
Pacific Union College, Napa County, US, April 2019
Duration: ca. 19 minutes

Program notes

SYZYGY is inspired by my experience of the total lunar eclipse which took place in September of 2015, when the marvelous phenomenon happened while the moon was in the perigee position, also known as a behemoth "Supermoon".  This rare celestial sequence is also referred to as a "blood moon eclipse". The dark crimson color of the moon gradually reveals its ominous secret when it is completely submerged into the umbra section of the Earth's shadow; the shadow or “Uns bleibt ein Erdenrest” (“Earth's residue” in Faust, Part II, Act 5) swallows up the full moon for more than an hour.

The entire piece is based on the contracted/expanded/pure overtone and undertone harmonies having fundamentals derived from the horizontal B undertone series progression.  The use of distortion formulae based on arbitrary pseudo-acoustics or the second order difference tone series, which I employed multiple times in my previous compositions including Underwater Comet, enabled me to adjust the amount of hue and shadow of harmonic colors in a personal or even “unconscious” level.

The idea of twofold contrasting forces, prevalent in numerous archetypal religions, myths, and alchemic precepts, is represented here as the conjugation of Lignt (Sol) and Darkness (Luna) into one Opus (Lapis Philosophorum).  This microcosmic psycho-acoustical sonic tapestry is inspired from the Jungian psychoanalytic thesis which I have been interested in for several years, often referring to his perspicacious philosophical interpretations on religious symbolism of unconscious process.

SYZYGY is composed between January and May 2016.