Ænigmata, for high voices

Duration: 12:00 minutes

Instrumentation: 3-6 high voices, or SA choir

Premiere: April 17, 2016 by the Texas State Women's Choir, directed by Lynn Brinckmeyer at Texas State University Performing Arts Center


     These canonic pieces were inspired by the the Latin riddles of Symphosius. These short three-line riddles are not only witty and playful poems, but their quotidian subjects, mirrors and echoes and wheels, all suggested musical puzzles. The six movements and their scoring are as follows:

1. Echo - SSAA -  a lively movement of echoes and hockets

2. speculum (mirror) - SSAA - several interlocking mirror, or inversion, canons

3. mola/mula (mill / mule) - SSAA - an ostinato suggesting both the constant movement of a water mill, and the obstinacy of a mule

4. clepsydra (water clock) - SSA - a prolation canon with three voices singing the same melody at different speeds

5. rotae (wheels) - SSSSAA - a series of rounds (called rotae in Latin)

6. somnus (sleep) - SSAA - a freely imitative movement, with a nod to Purcell