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First Point of Aries was composed for the 2017 class of saxophones at Cypress Springs High School in Cypress, Texas and was premiered at their end of year recital. The work is minimalist in nature but with rotating textures to help keep the younger student engaged (and not lost!). A chorale separates the two minimalism sections to provide contrast for both the audience and performers.
The autoignition temperature of any substance is the lowest temperature at which it spontaneously ignites in normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition. This piece is based on a minor third, which weaves itself throughout the work (also between the two parts) and can be thought of as the ‘substance’ that is undergoing spontaneous combustion. As time progresses the underlying reaction becomes more violent, eventually overtaking the interval and exploding into nothingness.