Arcanum (2014)

Instrumentation: Solo alto saxophone

Duration15' - 17'

Commissioned by: Christopher Condon

Movements: One movement

Program Note: Arcanum for solo alto saxophone was composed for and dedicated to my good friend, the excellent saxophonist Christopher Condon. "Arcanum," more frequently encountered in the plural "arcana," is a profound and mystical secret known only to initiates (for instance, the alleged knowledge of the ancient alchemists turning lead into gold). Music making, too, is a kind of bizarre magic. I have long been in awe of truly exceptional performers and their ability to conjure notes out of thin air, create sounds and evoke emotions with seemingly little effort, then transmute those ideas into different directions or back into silence in the blink of an eye. In this composition, I sought to capture this capricious and supernatural quality through a seamless thread of variations. Arcanum was premiered on 24 May 2014 in Hamburg, Germany by the dedicatee. Condon subsequently recorded Arcanum on his album "Pieces" in 2016 after touring the composition throughout the southeastern United States.

Score Download: Click here to download the entire full score of Arcanum free of charge (PDF)

Theisen's Arcanum - Performed live in concert by Chris Condon (Sept 2016)

Alan Theisen - Arcanum (2014) for solo alto saxophone.
Performed by Chris Condon.
Featured on his album Pieces, available for purchase by clicking here.