Composition Vii Saxophone Quartet perform Unrelenting Universe in Taiwan

Composition VII Saxophone Quartet gave the Taiwanese premiere on April 30, 2020 of Unrelenting Universe at the National Taiwan University of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan. The current members Po-Yuan Ku, Chih-Huan Wu, Pin-Hua Chen, and Po-Fang Chang all hold doctoral degrees in saxophone performance from different universities in North America.

Unrelenting Universe (2018) was commissioned by the Borealis Saxophone Quartet for a premiere performance at St. John’s Smith Square located in Westminster, London. The composition is influenced and inspired by the use of feng shui and astrology as applied to the birth date of BSQ member Gillian Blair and to events associated with famous “Johns” (the Church of St. John, John Henry, and John Coltrane). Two themes are derived from Gillian, (“Gilly’s Groove” and “Mercury Maze”) and four themes are based on “John”. The “John” themes are: “John Henry” (American folk song); “The Birth of St. John” (uses the plainchant “Ut queant laxis” which is an eighth century Latin hymn written in honor of St. John); “The Bombing of St. John” (applies feng shui to the date that the church was bombed in WWII); and “John ‘Cool’ Trane” (music inspired by saxophonist John Coltrane). The title refers to the spirited energy displayed by these people and by the Church of St. John which was resurrected from ruins to become a beautiful performance venue.