Dominique Schafer, Triplex Unity (2003)

The title makes reference to an ancient Taoist text by Wei Po-yang: Tsan-tung-chi, Triplex Unity. It is a text discussing aspects of spiritual alchemy. This mysterious text is also thought to describe the balance and unification of three distinctive internal energies of the human body. Similar as in medieval alchemy, it has been interpreted to incorporate descriptions of different concoctions of lead and mercury to produce potions with transforming properties. A number of different musical elements and ideas seek unification within this work, often appearing in threes, as for example the soprano saxophone, vibraphone and unpitched percussion. The micro-tonal material of the saxophone is an additional factor, which simultaneously opposes and contributes to the cohesiveness.

A native of Switzerland, Dominique Schafer has been residing in the United States since 1990. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), E-MeX ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, Yesaroun' Duo and the California EAR Unit have performed his music during the recent years. After entering UCLA he studied composition with Paul Reale, Ian Krouse, Paul Chihara, and film composition with Jerry Goldsmith. He moved to Cambridge in 2002 in order to pursue a PhD program at Harvard University, where he studies with Bernard Rands and Mario Davidovsky.


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