filumena lionheart

two cautionary tales for oboe and chamber ensemble

Commissioned by the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble

eating filumena lionheart was written at the end of a very long creative drought, which began some time after finishing my last large-scale work, my opera Beckett.

One of the main seeds of this self-imposed creative block, was to find a aesthetic that balanced my conservatory upbringings with my American 'maverick' sensibilities; to create art that is at once rich with musical metaphor and allusion but also accesses fresh and truly current trends in the visual and other aural arts; to create art that is self-referential, post-stylistic and ironic that can be accessible to the listener without feeling that the music is a wry bastardization; to create art that has a luminous, attractive and readable surface but that also has a stable and rich compositional core; to actually create new music, not lumping together an array of extended techniques and passé effects and calling it "new music;" to create art that experiments and investigates but that also aspires to transcend and illuminate – art where the spirit works with the hand, not against it; to create music that is free from the elitist, inaccessible, self-absorbed and self righteous attitude of American "new music" composers and their parasites whose crabby, outdated, cliché-ridden, irrelevant and out-of-touch music and ideas touches no hearts and inspires no souls:

This is the cautionary tale of eating filumena lionheart.


TALE ONE: she wanted all the pink facing beautiful
TALE TWO: she is memories for lots of people


Oboe solo.

Flute (doubles Piccolo), Oboe (doubles English Horn and Small Triangle), Clarinet (plays Bb, Eb & Bb Bass), Alto Saxophone (doubles Bari. Sax and Bell Tree) Bassoon (doubles Contrabassoon), Horn, Trumpet in C, Bass Trombone, Tuba (all brass players double on Suspended "Found Metals"), 2 Percussion [I: Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Marimba, Almglocken, 6 Flower pots, Marching Bass Drum, Kick Drum, Whip, Guïro, Temple Blocks, Wind Machine, Large Wood Crate, Suspended Metal Trash Can; II: Glockenspiel, Crotales, Vibraphone, Tubular Chimes, Kick Drum, Marching Bass Drum, Large Bass Drum, Medium Woodblock, Ribbon Crasher, Suspended Metal Trash Can], Harp (doubles Sleigh Bells and Very Large Theatre Ratchet), 2 Pianos (Piano 2 doubles Celesta, Synthesizer, Toy Piano, and Very Large Theatre Ratchet), Soprano, 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabass


21 Minutes


17 March 2009
UIUC New Music Ensemble
Emma Coleman – Oboe
Vincent Calianno – Conductor
The Krannert Center — Urbana, Illinois