Upon Qaphsiel’s Gate
This work scored for brass quintet and is set in five movements. The movements are intended to shadow the monomyth, or the hero's journey, a common template which is as follows — A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
The first movement of the work is inspired by Eric Satie, both in the musical and programmatic content. Pensive lines are interspersed with chord structures that are based on a changing chromatic mediant relationship. The second movement uses raag bhairav, a traditional scale in hindustani music, set against an oscillating harmonic background. Movement three is loosely styled as a chorale and features a pastoral melody passed between each of the performers. This melody leads into the fourth movement in which a rhythmic groove is created amongst each of the parts that slowly evolves by introducing different triplet figures in the upper voices. As the final movement is reached, we hear a return of the chromatic mediant figures as well as melodic sections of the chorale. Just as our sonic material has returned home, so too has our hero.