Fanfares for Libraries

7 mins
solo oboe with two smartphones

Premiere: 29 November 2021
Callaway Auditorium
University of Western Australia
Alexandra Allan - oboe

Programme Note

When I was thinking about a solo work for oboe, the idea of extended techniques was at the front of my mind. However, so much has already been done in this area, that I turned to electronics and how its use might fall under the banner of ‘extended technique’. I thought the inclusion of 'self-sufficient' electronics was one way to approach it. Using mobile phones seemed an obvious choice, as it is really easy to set up and requires no complex audio equipment. It’s very portable and self-contained. There is a duality that pervades this piece: libraries are places for quiet reading and contemplation and generally not for loud, brassy, ceremonial pieces. Talking on a phone is also shunned and I liked the idea of fanfares and mobile phones coming together where they should not. In Fanfares for Libraries, the oboe has a series of quiet, fanfare-like figures. Portions of the work are recorded onto a smartphone live, while the piece is in progress. These recordings are then played back on the phone‘s speaker, mixing with the live instrument to create a multi-layered work.

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