Brendan Faegre

composer, percussionist

Blastocystis Hominis: Three Portraits of a Parasite (2009)

I. Upper G.I.

II. Proliferate and Conquer

III. Nitazoxanide




1(Picc)11(Eb, Bb, Bass)1/1111/2 Perc, Hp, Pno/2111
[Perc 1: Vib, Xylo; Perc 2: Splash cym, Susp cym, China cym, Temple blocks, Metal cans, Finger cyms, BD, Tam-tam]


Ad-hoc sinfonietta; Ben Bolter, conductor / 22 November 2009 / Auer Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA


Blastocystis Hominis is a three-movement musical retort to the parasites of the same name that hijacked my intestinal tract toward the end of a four-month stay in India. The musical source-material for this piece is twofold: first, a motive derived from translating the letters forming the parasite's name into pitches (BlAStoCystiS Hominis), and second, a scale commonly used in Indian Classical music (poorvi thaat).

The first movement captures the calamity and chaos of millions of one-celled organisms successfully breaching security and going on a joy-ride through my gut, multiplying at a blinding pace and damaging at least 20 feet of my intestines. The second movement reflects the parasitic nature of B. Hominis musically through a continual spreading of the opening motive to new voices; a steady, strength-in-numbers type of proliferation that is eventually joined by the raucous character from the first movement. The final movement is named after the anti-protazoal agent most commonly prescribed to eliminate the B. Hominis from its host, and represents an epic battle of microscopic proportions between Nitazoxanide and the pathogenic, unwelcome guests. Every time this piece is performed, the musical spirits within me are further empowered to fight off the blastocysts and eliminate them for good.

Full Audio:

Score Sample:

I. Upper G.I.: I. Upper G.I.
II. Proliferate and Conquer: II. Proliferate and Conquer
III. Nitazoxanide: III. Nitazoxanide
[Ad-hoc sinfonietta / Ben Bolter, conductor]

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