Composers & WorksMark Wolf

This Teetering Bulb
for oboe
Composed for Alexandra King
First performance: 23 Nov 2021

Performed at the ANAM Set Festival by
Alexandra King (oboe)

Program note:
This Teetering Bulb was born out of the inspiration drawn directly from the poem, ‘The Floor’ by Russell Edson. The form of the composition mirrors the poems’ three stanzas, with a holistic emphasis motivated by the last statement: “this teetering bulb of dread and dream”. The sole basis of the piece exhibits an interplay between the polar opposites, ‘dread’ and ‘dream’. This work for solo oboe is an attempt at musically capturing an all too familiar desire to fulfil a personal passion but which is often shrouded in anxious self-doubt, especially felt during these trying and uncharted times for artists, musicians and creatives alike.

The Floor – Russell Edson (1973)

The floor is something we must fight against. Whilst seemingly mere platform for the human stance, it is that place that men fall to. I am not dizzy. I stand as a tower, a lighthouse; the pale ray of my sentiency flowing from my face.

But should I go dizzy I crash down into the floor; my face into the floor, my attention bleeding into the cracks of the floor.

Dear horizontal place, I do not wish to be a rug. Do not pull at the difficult head, this teetering bulb of dread and dream.

About the composer:
Mark Wolf’s music is motivated by extra-musical processes of invention. His current practice is focused on the parallels found between architectural space and musical time. His spatio-temporal renderings are steadily reaching wider audiences with recent performances in Europe, North and South America and Australia.

Wolf is an alumnus of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Victorian College of the Arts and the Royal College of Music, London. He was also Composer-in-Residence at the 2015 ICon Arts Academy in Sibiu, Romania and attended the 2016 Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop in Toronto, and the 2016 Soundstream Emerging Composers Forum in Adelaide.

Wolf's work has been featured at various international festivals including: Festival Mixtur – Barcelona, Cluster Music Festival – Italy, IV Bienal Música Hoje - Brazil, soundSCAPE Festival – Italy, ICon Arts Festival – Romania, and the 5th and 6th Darwin International Guitar Festivals – Australia. Wolf's concert music has received recognition through commissions by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Hans Westerman AM, Núcleo Música Nova, the British Harpsichord Society, clarinettist Ona Cardona and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

In 2017, Wolf was announced the winner for both in the solo category of the Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition (US) and the Etymos Ensemble Call for Scores Prize (It). 2020 and 2021 successes include winning the International New Music Frankfurt Composition Competition for piano miniatures and the Ithaca College International Heckscher Composition Prize.

More info: https://soundcloud.com/markwolfcomposer

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