black sun (2013)
for chamber orchestra
Dedicated to Mark Hewitt for his 43rd. birthday.
clarinet in Bb
bass clarinet in Bb
horn 1 in F
horn 2 in F
trumpet 1 in Bb
trumpet 2 in Bb
percussion [1 player]: very large, deep, resonant bass drum, marimba, 1 large suspended cymbal, Timpani (2 kettles 29-28 inches and 22-20 inches], 5 temple blocks.
Strings: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 minimum.
Duration: circa 23 minutes.
Please message me through the contact page should you wish to inquire about hiring scores and parts or downloading PDFs of parts for performance.
The Aztecs associated the passage of the Black Sun, on its nightly journey through the underworld with the image of a butterfly. The butterfly, in turn, is an archetypical symbol of the transcendent soul, transformation and mystical rebirth, whereas also seen in the figure of the frightening earth goddess Itzpapalotl, the “Obsidian Butterfly”, that devoured people during the solar eclipses, while the Aztec underworld was the eternal dwelling place of the souls. According to the Codex Ríos, the underworld was made of nine layers. The first level was the Earth’s surface, which also had the entrance or the face of a giant toad that devoured the dead and gave access to the other eight lower levels. The souls of the dead occupied the ninth level known as “Mictlan Opochcalocan”.