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The Poorer Silence Now

(2007)

Aaron Holloway-Nahum


The Poorer Silence Now

(2007)

this piece was written for Sasha Calin and was premiered by her on her final recital at the Royal Academy of Music, 6 June 2007.

Aaron Holloway-Nahum aaronholloway1@hotmail.com 07876.504072


Duration: Approximately 8 minutes Performance Notes •

Often, rather than regular barlines, this piece uses dotted barlines to indicate phrase breaks and the composer's preferred moments for the oboist to breathe. Each of these pauses should be treated as out of time.

(as in the 4th line of the first movement) is used to indicate a place in the music—aside from the dotted barlines—where a short “catch breath” is permitted.

This fermata is used, throughout the piece, to denote a duration "as long as possible." In this instance, where it occurs at the beginning of a phrase the oboist must aim for the longest duration that they can hold the note and still complete the phrase (to the next barline) in one breath.

This fermata is used, throughout the piece, to denote a slight pause on the indicated note or rest. It should feel a bit as if the piece is catching it's breath for a moment at each of these places.

These noteheads (which occur for the first time in the last line of the first page of the first movement) are an affect that Sasha describes as a ‘half or quasi-note’ produced by articulating very strongly but blowing lightly.

"Rolling Tone" (indicated by ) is described in by Libby Van Cleve in her book "Oboe Unbound":"The rolling tone is possible in the lowest range of the Oboe and is produced by using extreme lip pressure to make a beating or rolling quality...It is easiest to produce a rolling tone by increasing the lip pressure after the note has begun...It is sometimes difficult to start a rolling tone precisely, but once it has been established, it is not hard to execute [dynamic changes]..." It has been my experience, in working with Sasha, that the rolling tone often breaks to the note an octave above (or even a fifth above that). I love this sound and so the oboist should make no attempt to prevent this from happening if their oboe wants it to!

In the third movement, boxed numbers are utilized in the place of using micro-tones. The oboist should find a number of different fingerings for the same note and use them where indicated. This will give the impression of micro-tonal changes (it is important, for this to work, that the oboist chose fingers that emphasize the microtonal differences!) without being fussy in a way that isn't really relevant to the music of the music.


Program Note The Poorer Silence Now I – The Sudden Silence of the Concert Hall II – Sunset at Yalikavak III – Snow Falling in the Darkened House “Suns can go down and return. For us, when the brief light is spent, There is an unending night to be slept.” -Primo Levi (“Sunset at Fossoli”) “...And there is the silence of this morning which I have broken with my pen, a silence that had piled up all night like snow falling in the darkness of the house— the silence before I wrote a word and the poorer silence now.” -Billy Collins (“Silence”) I will forever be indebted to Sasha Calin who has—over the past three months—been constantly willing to give her time, energy, and incredible expertise to bring this composition to life. Before I began the piece I spent about a week constantly listening to a CD of Sasha’s playing. Now that the piece is finished, I can see that it is clearly a piece about what I imagine it might be like to play the oboe—and the incredible energy, joy, curiosity, and excitement that Sasha brought to the instrument and music in every one of our sessions.


for Sasha Calin

The Poorer Silence Now Mov. I - The Sudden Silence of the Concert Hall





fast and frantic

Oboe

  

     



    

f aggressivo, cresc.

   

  3                  

Aaron Holloway-Nahum April 2007

     

  

(use diaphragm to articulate notes under slurs)

3 3 5                   5        

   

ppp sub.

Ob.

3

pp

3

                distant and hollow

 

ffff

(ff)

more slowly; distant, calm, and haunting

Ob.

C

   Eb

       

 +LF   Eb

5

5

place lips just below heart of reed, very strong lip pressure (biting)

deep

Ob.

                       5

Ob.

5

                 

5

                  3

3

cresc poco a poco

3

3

5

cresc. poco a poco (poss)

     

3

5

f

gliss.   gliss.       

Ob.

pp

3



+LF

               

sfz

sffz

     C§

 ff

  

pp

                               extremely fast and pushing forward fiercely 9

Ob.

  

molto!

much more slowly, almost out of time slow, sighing (pitch bends)



  

(pp sempre)

7

7

(poco)

p


2

Ob.

             

 

 

f sempre

molto

5

  1   Eb

deep

Ob.

      

3

Ob.

3

3

        ff

     5 

rolling tone

   

   

ff p sub.

 non vib.    

fff

p poss.

        

rubato, espressivo

 

f

   

3

 

the upper octave (or Oct+5th) will develop out of the rolling tone naturally. Let it take over.

 

 

ffp

   

ppp

attacca


Mov. II - Sunset at Yalikavak 'Suns can go down and return. For us, when the brief light is spent, There is an unending night to be slept.' - Primo Levi

very slowly, singing sweetly molto rubato sempre Oboe

Ob.

Ob.

  



sub. p





  

 

3

p sub.

mf

p

pp

mf

p

mp sub.

                 bold and exciting!                         



7:4

pp

(diaphragm articulates

dissintegrating...

f

cantabile      

tenutos under slurs) 3 espressivo             gently               

N.B.

(pp poss.)

f

       3     3    3  3                              (p) 7:4

fight against the weight of the low notes legato poss.

espressivo

    long

Ob.



 

   

  

pp (echoing)

 3                      ppp 3

3

 +LF 

  

explosive!

f

(w/breath)    

ffp

fff

deep

very fast

Ob.

A Tempo

            pp

mf

poss.

        

(not too short or dry)

   

ppp

p

  pp

     p


Mov. III - Snow falling in the darkened house

   molto rit....  A Tempo (quickly) very quickly       1  2              * 1  2       3                             

note: the oboist is urged to chose fingerings that give the greatest microtonal differences

Oboe

Ob.

  

F Vent

ppp poss.

3

fp

ff pp sub.

 7   7 7                         breath accent  = 80 steady and strict      9 2       3                                          

 

3



C

Ob.

pp

ff

f

ppp poss.

                                       

non vib.

Ob.

7

5

pulse from diaphragm

Ob.

Ob.

5              

mf

pp sub.

7

   5    5          C

3

  

3

6

norm vib.>

  3   

bold!

f

mf pp sub.

        

                             ppp poss.  

2

3

  1

p

7 pp sub.

                          non vib.

Ob.

pp

ff poss. p sub.

9

      

  

2 3    

mp

very fast, always pushing forward

 

7                                    5

ppp poss. throughout

(norm) 7

7

  


2

Ob.

Ob.

Ob.

Ob.

       3



(non harm)   (more clearly) non vib. (harm)                                          5  7 f p sub.

9 1                     

pp

ppp

1 non vib.

      



 



1

     

         

 

  

Ob.

                3

7

  2

 

 3

2    

f pp sub.

mp

     

 5            

rubato> 



C

f

    

mf pp poss.

(diaphragm) mix the different fingerings...

2  3 [in time]                             

      

3

5



         6

2



 

p

ppp poss.

  

   

(from diaphragm)

f confident and bold

F

p

= 80 (A Tempo) steadily

3

 2   Eb

 

p

7

loose

Ob.

 

2

5

ff

dolce e cantabile

 2

pp



   ppp poss.

1



    3

      

The Poorer Silence Now  

for solo oboe. Written for Sasha Calin.

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