Baljinder Sekhon, Composer

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Sonata of Puzzles
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I. Never-Ending Jigsaw

II. Dead-End Labyrinth

III. Crossword On Fire

Alto Saxophone + Piano

16 Minutes

Commission organized by Global Première Consortium Commissioning Project.

View full list of 59 consortium members HERE.

Purchase Sheet Music


Glass Tree Press



AvA Musical Editions

41.20 €


Commercial Recordings

Ai Duo


Artur Mendes, saxophone

Iryna Brazhnik, piano

Release Date: June 19, 2016





CD Baby


Albany Records


Adam Estes, saxophone

Stacy Rodgers, piano

Release Date: January 1, 2017


Albany Records



Program Notes:

Sonata of Puzzles is scored for alto saxophone and piano and was commissioned by over 50 saxophonists from 16 countries as part of the inaugural Global Premiere Consortium Commissioning Project. As the titles suggest, this work is modeled after the structural properties of three different types of puzzles. In the first movement, “Never-Ending Jigsaw,” the pitch and rhythmic structure of the piano and saxophone parts fit together like puzzle pieces. Through a variety of hocket patterns and complementary pitch collections or rhythmic patterns, the performers rely on each other to complete the fabric and texture of the entire movement. In theory, the end of this movement connects back to the beginning of the movement and it could be played forever. The second movement, “Dead-End Labyrinth,” is based on a complex pitch structure that is generated from the basic pitch structure of the first movement. This creates many more musical paths to follow with a variety of "turns" and dead ends. The music ebbs and flows as new discoveries are made, longer stretches of the "maze" are reached, and backtracking is required. The rhythmic character is quite the opposite from that found in the first movement: this movement tends to float through time with little to no pulse or clear orientation between the piano and saxophone. The third movement "Crossword On Fire" takes all of the pitch material from the first two movements and fits them together in a way that highlights both the similarities and differences between them. Segments of pitches are pieced together in a sort of musical crossword puzzle to solve this movement and the contents of the puzzle guide the entire structure. The title of this movement comes from the "burning" nature of the music, as if someone is tasked with solving a crossword puzzle that is on fire.

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