Brendan Faegre

composer, percussionist

The Circular Ruins (2009)




violin, cello, and piano


Michelle Lie, violin; Eric Allen, cello; Joni Chan, piano / 18 April 2009 / Hammer & Nail, Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, IN, USA


PARMA Student Composition Contest Winner 2012
1st prize, Beethoven Club Student Composition Contest 2009


The Circular Ruins is a composition inspired largely by a Jorge Luis Borges story of the same title. The story is about a sorcerer whose sole desire is to create a man in his dreams and impose him upon reality so convincingly that no one will realize he is but a phantom. It is a story of trial, failure, patience, eventual success, and finally humiliation and complete resignation as the sorcerer realizes that he too is the creation of some other man's dream, a mere simulacrum.

I tried to evoke these ideas of perseverance and irony, the strange sense of urgency and wonder, and the surprises and mythical imagery found in this story through the use of varied repetition, propulsive rhythms, colorful gestures and textures, and balancing unpredictability with a cogent form. This piece is no doubt my own attempt at manifesting a dreamt creation onto reality, but it leaves me with my fingers crossed, hoping that I am not merely the dreamt musical creation of some greater composer.

This piece was originally composed as part of the 2009 Hammer & Nail project and premiered with choreography by Sasha Gaona for five dancers.

Full Audio: (live recording w/ dancers)

Score Sample:

The Circular Ruins
[Michelle Lie, violin / Eric Allen, cello / Bethany Pietroniro, piano]

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