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Mario Diaz de Leon

Altar of Two Serpents

for two flutes

C, alto, or bass flutes (2009)
Duration6'
PremiereFebruary 20, 2010; The Park Avenue Armory, NYC; Claire Chase & Eric Lamb – alto flutes
Technical requirementsWhile this piece is written for alto flute, successful interpretations on the C and bass flutes have also been realized. This piece takes influence from the gasba flute music of Northeast Algeria, which is characterized by a very breathy timbre, and the use of octave-overblowing rather than keys to activate higher registers. Performers should strive for a colorful, “fluctuating” sound that is rich in harmonics. When “noise” tones are played, they should never sacrifice clarity of pitch or rhythm. Rather, players should strive for the blown equivalent of a distorted electric guitar.
PublisherPSNY

Media

Program Note

The title of this work references the caduceus symbol of two intertwined serpents, depicted from antiquity in Sumerian culture (as the vegetation god Ningishzida), in Greek mythology (as a symbol of Hermes), and in alchemy as a symbol of the element Mercury (via Hermes). Here, it specifically references the sushumna energy of a Kundalini Yoga awakening, often depicted as serpentine energy emerging from the base of the spine. In the music itself, I draw heavily from the gasba flute music of Northeast Algeria, a fixture of Berber tribal music often associated with the ritual celebration of Islamic saints. The hypnotic riffs of the gasba are characterized by a raw, breathy flute timbre, rich in overtones, resulting in part from the use of endblown rosewood flutes. Altar is divided into two principal sections. In the first, the players elaborate on melodies that fluctuate between free time and fast riffs, which are often punctuated with heavy accents, “distorted” breath tones, and moments of silence. The second unfolds continously through fast alternation between players, evoking a latticework “trance of possession”.

Purchase

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Types of Products

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Print)

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Score and part (Print)

Score and part (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Choral Booklet (Print)

Choral Booklet (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Digital)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Study Score (print) (Print)

Study Score (print) (Digital)

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Digital)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Digital)

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)