unfurl : for oboe and viola
by Anne Cawrse (2022)
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unfurl is the result of an experiment. Conceived
structurally on a walk, the harmonic plan that unfolds throughout
the piece was jotted down hastily and without a piano at hand-
very unusual for me. The rhythmic structure was planned while I
was a passenger on a long car trip (no piano there either), and a
few weeks later the three components were brought together to
create… what exactly? A musical exploration of unfolding,
expanding harmonies? A study in repetition and holding tension
through continual tiny shifts? Maybe it's a duet for any two
instruments, which works best when played in a resonant
Regardless of what it is, I think that unfurl is quite effective. I like the fact that aside from range, it doesn't rely too much upon the characteristics of the two instruments in order to work. I like the elements of freedom and ensemble it demands of the players, from articulation matching to decisions about the number of repetitions. I particularly like how it demonstrates that a composer can work in a very different way from usual, and still create something intriguing, enjoyable, listenable and very playable.
Instrumentation: Oboe, viola.
Duration: 4 min.
Commission note: Composed for the 2022 ReClassified Festival
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