for solo oboe
by Alyssa Morris (b. 1984) - American composer and oboist
I. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
II. Emotions: Masked and Unmasked
III. Enough's Enough
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
I composed Ruminations for solo oboe in March 2021. Each movement is a personally expressive etude, meant to depict the feeling of obsessive thinking about an idea, especially when it interferes with normal mental functioning. Ruminations is a musical impression of some of my thoughts and feelings from 2020 and 2021.
Movement 1 plays on the repeated pattern of its title, Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. The statement is spun into a sixteenth note pattern in 7/8 meter, mimicking “woulda, coulda, woulda, coulda, woulda, coulda, shoulda.” This obsessive thinking pattern is paired with frustrated outbursts, typified by glissandi to stratospheric ranges in the oboe and timbral trills.
In Emotions: Masked and Unmasked, the oboe presents a mournful, lonely tune. In juxtaposition, a jazzy, up-tempo contrafact of the first melody is introduced. This lively and dancing rendition reaches a piercing climax. The oboe reverts back to melancholy in a lonely recapitulation.
The oboe cuts through the silence with an angry ascending motive in Enough’s Enough. Pitch bends and timbral trills give voice to the rage. A repeated motive is introduced, ornamented by stomping and multi-phonics. A furious crescendo comes to a raucous climax with a timbral trill on high A. The oboe makes a final declamatory statement,“Enough’s Enough.”