Five Dream Episodes for solo oboe, chamber winds, electronics, & video.

Composition by Christopher Stark with visuals by Andrew Lucia, 2015.

︎ 05.20.2015
︎ 03.03.2015 (premier)
︎ 03.06.2016

Program Notes
Velocity Meadows is an eleven-minute concertino for solo oboe, chamber winds, electronics, and video. I was asked to compose this piece by oboist Jennifer Gookin Cavanaugh and conductor James Smart who both teach at the University of Montana where I studied as an undergraduate. I themed the piece around western landscapes because of the geographical connection to the commissioners, and the title is taken from a poem by the recently deceased American poet Mark Strand. For me, the title perfectly encapsulates the sound image I have in my head of western Montana: landscapes that bustle with natural life and kinetic energy, set in stark relief to intimidatingly large expanses of glacially carved geologic formations. In Strand’s poem, he impressionistically describes an eerie dream-like pastorale, which immediately repositioned me into one of my recurring dreams: it is dusk, and I am standing behind my childhood home in Montana as an ominous red light glows on the other side of the snow-capped Mission Mountains from the east. The concept of dreaming inspired the form and content of the work, and it is constructed out of a series of five short surrealist episodes. I combined different influences and inspirations within each episode with complete disregard for whether they belonged together or not—a technique I first encountered during my studies with Montana-based composer, David Maslanka. The experimental video adds yet another dimension to the ambience of the work—made by designer and  artist Andrew Lucia, and it is my hope that through the combination of these different elements the work will, perhaps unknowingly, express the time and place in which we live and dream.

–Christopher Stark

Performance Dates:

St. Cloud State Wind Ensemble
Catharine Sinon Bushman, conductor
Heather Peyton, oboe
St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN

University of Puget Sound Wind Ensemble
Gerard Morris, conductor
Dan Williams, oboe
Schneebeck Concert Hall, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

Cornell University Wind Ensemble
James Spinazzola, conductor
Emily DiAngelo, oboe
Bailey Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

TCNJ Wind Ensemble 
David Vickerman, conductor
Kathy Mitchell, soprano sax
Mildred and Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Robert Ambrose, guest conductor
Beth Orson, oboe
Chan Shun Concert Hall, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CA

Montana State University Wind Ensemble
Nathan Stark, conductor
Beth Antonopoulos, oboe
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

University of Kansas Wind Ensemble
Paul Popiel, conductor
Margaret Marco, oboe
Lied Center of Kansas, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

University of Puget Sound Wind Ensemble
Gerard Morris, conductor
Dan Williams, oboe
Schneebeck Concert Hall, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

9.15.2015 8pm
Hodgson Wind Ensemble
Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor
Reid Messich, oboe
Hodgson Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Central Washington University Wind Ensemble
Larry Gookin, conductor
Jennifer Gookin Cavanaugh, guest soloist, oboe
McIntyre Music Building Concert Hall, Ellensburg, WA

3.3.2015 (World Premier)
University of Montana Symphonic Wind Ensemble
James Smart, conductor
Jennifer Gookin Cavanaugh, oboe
Music Recital Hall, University of Montana, Missoula, MT