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


The Brain

‘The Brain’ was written for tenor voice, bass clarinet, and piano, with text based on a poem of the same name, by American poet, Emily Dickinson. It was premiered at Simon Fraser University Theatre (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada), in March 2003.

“The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As Sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—”

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Sheet music for this piece is available through the Canadian Music Centre: