Green Grass Snake (from Serpent Music, 1977) Michael Kibbe (1945- )
“A sunlit emerald shimmering to tease the eye; a parting of the grass—this ribbon passes by.” Kibbe wrote this music for a performance piece. “It was premiered in Los Angeles with the composer playing the oboe. A group of interpretive dances writhed, snakelike, across the floor around the two instrumentalists.”
The Grasshopper (from Two Insect Pieces,1934) Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
At the age of 21, Benjamin Britten wrote Two Insect Pieces for his friend, the oboist Sylvia Spencer, and played it with her privately. Its first public performance was after both their deaths, in a memorial service for Spencer.
That Mockingbird (from On Holt Avenue, 2006) Jenni Brandon (1977- )
“Written for the oboist Jennifer Mitchell, this piece portrays life ‘On Holt Avenue’ in Los Angeles, California as told by the composer.” Mockingbirds are garrulous, accurate mimics of other birds. They fool nobody, however, because they are way too loud and have no editor. Their nonstop recitals are strings of unrelated sound bites, like an iPod running amok.
Gardens (1975) Peter Schickele (1935- )
Peter Schickele is a prolific composer, musician, author and satirist. He writes musical parodies in the persona of P.D.Q. Bach. For other compositions he uses his own name. In this piece he shows his reflective side and his skill as a musical colorist.
All quotes are from the composers. Internet links to their biographies are: