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unfurl : for oboe and viola

by Anne Cawrse (2022)

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Work Overview

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 acoustic?
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.

Work Details

Year: 2022

Instrumentation: Oboe, viola.

Duration: 4 min.

Difficulty: Medium

Commission note: Composed for the 2022 ReClassified Festival

First performance: by Joshua Oates, Martin Alexander — 6 Nov 22. North Adelaide Baptist Church, SA

Performances of this work

6 Nov 22: North Adelaide Baptist Church, SA. Featuring Joshua Oates, Martin Alexander.

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