for baritone saxophone and live electronics
Composer: Jason Charney
The narrator in Jorge Luis Borges’ 1945 story “The Aleph” describes a remarkable singularity under an acquaintance’s cellar stairs: a point where the universe in its entirety can be experienced at once. At the end of the story, he describes other Alephs that might exist in the world:
“The Faithful who gather at the mosque of Amr, in Cairo, are acquainted with the fact that the entire universe lies inside one of the stone pillars that ring its central court…No one, of course, can actually see it, but those who lay an ear against the surface tell that after some short while they perceive its busy hum…The mosque dates from the seventh century; the pillars come from other temples of pre-Islamic religions, since, as ibn-Khaldun has written: ‘In nations founded by nomads, the aid of foreigners is essential in all concerning masonry.’”
“Foreign Masonry” uses a single multiphonic built from the baritone saxophone’s lowest note as the mysterious column, its multitudinous harmonic series representative of the entire universe.