Works > Orchestral > ZAZTUN


Name of the Mayan stone used by healers to diagnose.
Written in:
2 Flts (+ 1picc), 2 Obs (+1Cor anglais), 2 B-flat s Clt, (+A Clt), Bass clrt, 2 fgt, 1 contrafgt., 4 cors in F, 1 Trpt in B-flat, 1 trpt in C, 2 Trbnes, 1 Tuba; 5 perc. players: 1 Glockenspiel, 3 temple bells, crotals, tubular bells, 1 Large Cymbal, 3 Tam-tam, 4 Timpani, 5 Tom-Tom, 1 Triangle, 1 Vibraphone, 1 Xylophone, 1 Marimba, 2 Harp, 1 Celesta, 12 vlns I, 12 vlns II, 10 vlas, 8 vc, 6 DBs.
Commisioned by

Commission funded by Orquesta Filarmónica de la Universidad de México in 1996.


Premiered in February 1999 in Dublin by National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, conducted by Charles Hazelwood.

Programme Note

The title comes from the Mayan word meaning Zaz: light, pure, without blemish, mirror and Tun; stone, or age. It is a magic stone used by shamans in Southern Mexico  Guatemala and Belice that enables them to diagnose and heal. This stone needs to be found, it is not given. The many readings this can have, in this score refers to a poetic idea of creation as an alchemic process of finding the music within the instruments. It is also evocative of the magic still alive in many different indigenous communities. The piece is dedicated to Ronald Zollman and the OFUNAM orchestra.