Alchemy (2012)

horn, cello & piano


Alchemy was conceived as a trio for horn, cello, and piano, in three movements. The three-part structure was inspired by the three stages of the medieval alchemical process– attempting to turn base metals into gold, or the ‘elixir of life’: 1: corruption/dissolution, 2: purification (linked to the moon and femininity), and 3: enlightenment/sublimation (linked to the sun and masculinity). The horn introduces a short theme in the first movement, which is then transformed through seven variations– seven being the number of metals involved in the alchemical process. The second movement is slow, sensuous, and lyrical, drawing inspiration from jazz tonalities, as well as from the delicate raindrop-like sound and polyrhythmic patterns of the kora (west African harp). The third movement brings the piece to a bright, rhythmically intense culmination.

-Commission funded in part by the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Program of the International Horn Society

-2nd movement premiered by Oliver de Clercq- horn, Zoltan Rozsnyai- cello, and Chris Morano- piano, at the Sonic Boom Festival, Western Front, Vancouver, 25 March 2012

-full piece (all 3 mvts) premiered by Oliver de Clercq- horn, Ariel Barnes- cello, and Rachel Iwaasa- piano, at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Vancouver, 20 May, 2012

Sheet music is available through the International Horn Society:!/~/product/id=18634910