speed metal organum blues

speed metal organum blues was commissioned by the Prism Saxophone Quartet for their 20th Anniversary Concerts in November, 2004. Barely over a minute long, this work is part of a group of 20 one-minute long pieces by 20 composers to commemorate the Prism Quartet’s milestone.

speed metal organum blues sounds exactly as the title suggests: monks on speed, power chords, distortion, and a blues chorus.

The term “speed metal organum” refers to the fast paced succession of open 5th power chords found in speed metal music – and the strange notion that this music may have actually evolved from 13th century organum (doubtful, but funny to think about – Monks on speed!).

speed metal organum blues opens with a short statement presented in open 4ths/5ths in all four saxophones. After a brief development, the statement expands into a single 12-bar blues chorus climaxing on the so-called “V” chord. The opening statement returns contrapuntally followed by a return to the parallel 4th/5th texture.



November 19, 2004 at Leonard Nimor Thalia, Symphony Space, New York, NY by PRISM Quartet.


  • Saxophone Quartet



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