‘counterparts’ for Oboe and Violin

In June this year I completed a short 5 minute piece for oboe and violin for a workshop at this year’s upcoming Royal Musical Association 2020 conference. This piece combines my interests in long harmonics and double-stop harmonics on the violin with the altissimo register of the oboe. The piece is called counterparts, which is somewhat after the famous short story found in James Joyce’s Dubliners. However, the piece does not seek to emulate or follow the story line in any way but examines how these non-tempered dyads and triads behave sonically when placed next to each other, and if this can work as material for a duet. Much of this music later went on to feed the harmonic material I have been using for my violin album scheduled for release in early October. The workshop itself will take place on September 9th, beginning at 11am. It will be led by Chris Redgate and Peter Sheppard Skaerved, who are renowned expert interpreters for contemporary music.

counterparts is a work in progress for oboe and violin. The violin is treated as if it were two instruments as it mostly plays double stops, where either one or both notes are harmonics. This causes a technical issues as to the clarity of the harmonic sound also when combined with differences of bow position. The oboist is required either to play in the altissimo range, and/or to employ different colourings often on the same, or similar pitch. These are qualities offered by the Howarth-Redgate oboe, which, although it is an instrument I have not yet worked with, I am curious to hear and learn about. My interest is in hearing the timbral differentiation with a music based on repeated vertical patterns. 

I very much look forward to hearing Chris Redgate and Peter Sheppard Skaerved’s comments, and, especially as this is a work in progress, on how I might like to develop it.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *