Song for Maya by Vince Oliver

June 1, 2016  |   Posted In



By Vince Oliver

Song for Maya was commissioned by Ramiro Barrera for his daughter – accomplished oboist Maya Barrera. Loosely written in song form, the piece is ultimately intended to be the middle movement of a larger work for oboe and wind band, though it works well as a standalone lyrical showpiece for any advanced oboe player. The meter changes throughout the piece are meant to give an inherent sense of rubato; so other than what is indicated in the score, not too much liberty with tempo is recommended.

As a composer, I'm often inspired by non-linear melodic lines – melodic lines that contain unique interval leaps – and I'm also drawn to expanding and contracting textures within the tutti ensemble which I try to create through density of harmonies and orchestration. The inherent challenge within the oboe solo is hearing the non-linear lines.

The intervallic leaps are tricky at times, and if the integrity of the intervals aren't preserved the harmonic motion can become unclear for the listener. Similar – or perhaps in some ways dissimilarly — the inherent challenge with the band music is hearing the close interval relationships within their harmonic textures (seconds and thirds), and keeping these relationships in tune as they shift, or as they get louder and softer. Once these piece is tonally in the performers' ears, the combination of these two elements lends itself to a clean compliment between the soloist and accompaniment, and should provide a nice balance between harmonic sophistication and musical accessibility.

The piece was premiered in 2012 and then went on to be performed at the Kennedy Center in 2014.

Duration: 4 minutes
Grade Level: 3.5

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Additional information

Weight .1 lbs
Dimensions 0.004 × 11 × 17 in

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