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Her, the heretic for Alto Saxophone & Piano (2019)

Title: Her, the heretic

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Alto Saxophone & Piano 

Duration: 9' 30"


Commissioned by and written for Lewis Banks as part of "Afterlife" for Alto Saxophone and Piano.


Her, the heretic is the 6th movement in a larger series of works called Afterlife (written for Alto Saxophone and Piano) which is inspired by David Eagleman’s short story cycle ‘Sum: Forty tales from the afterlives’ that comprises of several speculative stories that postulate a diverse range of scenarios in which humans might find themselves in the afterlife. 


Her, the heretic is based on the chapter entitled “Apostasy”, in which God finds herself being accused of heresy by members of every faith who – upon receiving God’s ultimate divine wisdom – struggle to accept that the beliefs they each held on Earth do not correlate with the true meaning of existence put forward by God in the afterlife. In this scenario God presents each person with The Book of Truth which provides all the answers to their lifetime of questions, but this new truth does not satisfy each and every person who has entered the afterlife with various fixed and dogmatic views on what they believe ought to be the real truth of their given faiths. Thusly, in their eyes God is an apostate and a heretic, and She find herself outcast and alone among her skeptical disciples. In this way, Her, the heretic attempts to capture the imaginary quarrels that might unfold between God and the multitude of believers from all the different faiths of Earth. Each major faith is represented in musical form using traditional (and sometimes fabricated) “orthodox” religious melodies to express a caricature of the individualities of each faith. From the fiery temperament of the ancient Zoroastrians, to the playful and melancholic characteristics of Jewish Yiddish music, to the austere and somber Gregorian chants of the Christians, to the arresting calls-to-prayer of the Islamic Azan, to the transcendental chants of the Buddhists, and the absorbing meditations of the Hindu’s Mantras; all of Earth’s religions meet here in a cacophonous musical debate while God tries to convince everyone with her ethereal and seraphic music from The Book of Truth. Therefore, Her the heretic looks to highlight the various differences and commonalities of faiths from around the world in the context of heresy in order to capture Eagleman’s narrative as well as God’s fight against her accusations of blasphemy, which ultimately leaves her rejected and cast out by her very own inflexible creations.

Her, the heretic for Alto Saxophone & Piano (2019)

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