Written in 2016, this piece is scored for trumpet, violin and piano at the request of the violinist Cathy Irons. It lasts a little under 5 minutes.
The title, Universal Mysteries, suggest the mysteries associated with religion but, more precisely for me, it is the mystery of spirituality that I have in mind. In addition, I have found that many scientific discoveries, starting with the findings of Albert Einstein, are very mystifying and often open up new questions about the universe around us.
The piece is in two sections: a very intense opening marked Andante; followed by a more relaxed section marked Poco Più Mosso. The melodies in the first section for trumpet and violin, marked misterioso, are in direct contrast to the chords played on the piano, forming a conflict. The melodies are based on a succession of two-note phrases. There are interludes where calmer scale-like passages appear, but these only suggest a sense of nervous expectancy of what might happen next.
The melodic material is also mainly given to trumpet and violin in the second section, with a harmonic accompaniment from the piano. The piece calms still further, rising at the end in a manner typical of the composer. The exact interpretation of the music is left to the listen to decide, although the listener will hear the two-note phrases at the start become prominent at the end.