"Tierney’s dark-hued music had polished, ominous richness and the sound-worlds were cogent and immediate."
— The Boston Globe
Escritura del Dios [The God's Script]
A Monodrama in 14 scenes on the short story of Jorge Luis Borges ~65’
“Borges’ dark text projects an extended confinement (not without a significant element of fear), and Tierney’s score gets under the skin of the story and its expressive manner with uncanny power. The piece never wastes notes, yet feeds its course (an impressively slow-moving dramatic progress) with inventive figuration and a motivic tautness that one might expect from a much more seasoned artist.”
— John McDonald, Composer & Pianist
Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet,
2 Percussionists, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello & Baritone
(2 Piano reduction)
“Two of the most compelling New Shorts operas also draw on illustrious literary sources: … The latter [by Justin Tierney] sheathes in fierce, gorgeously orchestrated music a dramatization of Jorge Luis Borges’s “La escritura del dios,” the story of an imprisoned Mayan priest, sung with command by Jeffrey Gavett, who seeks to decipher a divine message encoded in the spots of a jaguar he sees for only an instant each day. Just as the novella’s narrator tells of “vertigo” and a “labyrinth of dreams,” Tierney’s score circles time and again around the same intervals, its claustrophobic darkness pierced by glistening threads of violin tone or washes of flute over prickly percussion.“ — Marion Lignana Rosenberg on
New Music Box
for Orchestra ~10'
3(picc), 3, 3(bcl), 3(cb)/ 4,2,3,1/
Timp, 2 perc./ Pno, Hp/ Strings
also available ~
2(picc), 2, 2, 2/ 2,2,3,1/
Timp, 2 perc./ Pno, Hp/ Strings
3 Clarinets, 2 Percussionists (with Superballs) & Piano ~11’
Alexander Craigie, professor of logic, investigates reports of blue-colored tigers in a remote Indian village, but instead, to the villagers dismay, discovers mysterious blue stones that pop into and out of existence, multiply and disappear without any apparent logic.
Craigie obsesses over the "obscene miracle" of the stones that violate the laws of physics which begin to haunt his dreams. He wishes he was mad, since that would be "less disturbing than the discovery that the universe can tolerate disorder. If three plus one can be two, or fourteen, then reason is madness."
Blue Tigers is inspired by the short story of Jorge Borges of the same name. The music is dedicated to my friend and former teacher Ryan Vigil.
Violin, Cello & Piano ~21'
Clarinet, Viola & Harp ~7.5’
Brass Quintet & Percussion ~12’
The God's Script
A Music Drama after the short story “La Escritura del Dios” of Jorge Luis Borges ~50’
Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, 2 Percussionists, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello & Narrator
His pyramid crumbling, his civilization destroyed,
an imprisoned Aztec mystic struggles to divine the word of God
embedded in the living skin of a jaguar.In a burst of illumination, the whirling fabric
of the cosmos is revealed. Understanding all, he possesses the potential for infinite power.
The Firebird Ensemble:
Sarah Brady, Flute/Piccolo;
Rane Moore, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet;
Aaron Trant & Nick Tolle, Percussion;
Cory Smythe, Piano;
Gabriela Diaz, Violin;
Kate Vincent, Viola;
David Russell, Cello;
Jeff Means, Conductor;
Laurence Senelick, Narrator