Hello and welcome to MUSE ECHO. Muse Echo is about the music written or in progress. Today, I write a brief general overview - introduction - of the books available to date in the 100 Flower Series, then a bit more on the book Illuminations.
Years ago, when I was pining to have a garden of my own again and needed to lift myself up out of a depression, I decided to create an imaginary garden by composing sonic portraits of flowers.
I thought - I’ll compose 100 flower portraits! Only to discover that I didn’t even know of 100 different variety of flowers. So, I shouted out on face book to my oboe colleagues there - old, young, amateur, professional - world wide, and asked for help. I asked oboists to suggest flower varieties to compose for and I’d dedicate a flower to whom suggested in return - hence the numerous dedications to oboists throughout the series.
Originally I imagined ALL the flowers in one big book, like a big garden, but they are instead organized via required technique. Others - such as duets - will be organized for instrumentation. They are in each so far, organized alphabetically by flower and are designed to be MIXED AND MATCHED to form individual bouquets for recitals and any special occasion within the book itself as well as within other books.
Please note that the level of technique necessary doesn’t always reflect the past or present level of technical accomplishment for whom I dedicated the work.
I am grateful to Marie-Ange Fultier who determined the titles for all the books so far, in the 100 Flowers Series, except, A Dozen Roses.
Illuminations is a collection of 23 miniature portraits for advanced beginner and up
(If you were to only get one book - I’d suggest this one.) The entire books stays within the pitch ranges of low C to 2 ledger line C but mostly pretty confined within that to a simpler range. All pieces are in straight forward non changing meters. Works are in natural minor, modes, synthetic scales or 12 tone rows.
Embellishments are employed at times, sprinkled throughout some pieces.
Please note that I composed all of these flowers for my own enjoyment, my students enjoyment and of course for whom I dedicated the flower. These flowers are appropriate for ALL AGES and skill levels.
I suggest this book for everyone. They are great for sight reading and warm ups for advanced players, as well as encore pieces or just something to play in between meaty repertoire practice. This book is like a box of a variety of bon bons.
Simply put, all I did was imagine the flower, meditate upon what it is like for that flower to exist, and compose a sonic portrait based on what I imagined it like to be that flower.
The entire book is for solo melodic oboe playing, Can be enjoyed by other C instruments.
I) ANGEL FLOWER
for Ambrogio Gentili
quarter note = 80
2/4 meter, a natural minor, binary form, mostly half notes and grace notes
portrait. Pitch range second line G to first ledger line A Gentle, elegant, simple, mysterious
II) A SPRIG OF LILY OF THE VALLEY
for Dominique Enon
quartet note = 92, 4/4 , meter, lots of embellishments.
to be played joyfully
pitch range first space F to double ledger line C.
4/4 meter, floral, rich in embellishments
all quartet note = 100
3 flowers in 3/4 meter in different key signatures and in different modes
Theme with very slight variation within each three.
dotted quartet = 60
low D to top line F
quartet note = 82
2/4 meter, C Lydian start to A Dorian conclusion landing however with the zest of Lydian feeling that’s earth. embellishments
VI) BUTTERCUP - excellent for early beginners
quarter note = 92
2/4 meter Bb and Ab in key signature
pentatonic F, G, Ab, Bb, C.
This piece has been the favorite of most of my students. Very accessible. Very easy. Straight forward and comforting.
VII) CALLA LILY
for Karin Grammel
in 3/4 waltz A minor
for Rossana Lonza
easy 3/4 waltz A is tonic
IX) CHERRY BLOSSOMS
for Suho Ha
quarter note = 82
4/4 meter, Bb and Ab in key signature. range is third line B to octave above.
Quarter note = 120
4/4 meter, some chromatics, feels wholesome, octave pattern aids feeling confident and summery. (Accidentals apply for the entire measure regardless of octave. )
quarter note = 120
4/4 meter, chromatic, joyful, straight forward rhythmic pattern repeated.
XII) FORGET ME NOT
for Tankica Miteva
quarter note = 80
lots of wind sculpting of repeated rhythmic patterns with good dynamic contrast
here drama meets simplicity and tenderness
XIII) HEARTS A POPPIN’
quarter = 92 4/8 meter
Simple, chromatic, repeated rhythmic pattern
XIV) INDIAN PAINT BRUSH
6/8 meter, low D to the D above with some chromatics
balance of articulation
XV) JOHNNNY JUMP UP
for Sarha Loos
Allegro 3/8 row
for Enrico Calcagni
7 Lilies in 4/4 meter, theme with slight variations in different modes.
sweetly and gently
XVII) LITTLE MORNING GLORY
3/8 e natural minor
XVIII) MADONNA LILY
for Emilia Mili
for Myself and also to women who are mothers - a celebration of motherhood which I associate with the Magnolia tree. This is the longest work in the book. Works beautifully on the oboe d’amore played as written - not transposed.
quarter = 92 espressivo
XX) PITCHER PLANT
dotted quarter = 82
3/8 meter, chromatic, leap full octaves
XXI) TIGER LILY
for Kristin Leitterman
3/4 Waltz, playful and elegant
Can be performed with any interpretation of how to or not to repeat depending on the occasion.
for Anna Beaver
who was a former oboe student
quarter note = 92
3/8 meter, merrily, cute 12 tone row
XXIII) WHITE VIOLET
for Eva Drolc
freely in 3/8
p - ppp articulate, delicate 12 tone row
SKYPE lessons are available to anyone who’d appreciate them.
Just contact me to schedule.
I hope you’ll enjoy these little flower portraits!
In service to the muse,