Signals is a diverse collection of new British music for solo oboe aimed at university and conservatoire-level students and professionals. All the pieces are designed to compliment popular oboe repertoire and to help develop instrumental technique. They range from expressive variations, through folk-like pieces, to American-influenced minimalism. Signals introduces oboists and audiences alike to a colourful range of musical journeys, ideal for recitals, masterclasses or private exploration.
The collection can be an invaluable resource for any oboist of Grade 8 and conservatoire standard who is curious about widening their repertoire and exploring the various languages of modern music. The term "modern music" can alienate many minds who may think it will be too difficult technically; aurally unknown and therefore unsatisfying; harmful or damaging to their musical sensibility.
To all these points this volume has the answers. Every one of these pieces requires challenging technical skills demanded of any of the more traditional oboe repertoire, and additionally they will improve technique. Each piece portrays a character and language that is approachable and compelling. Far from damaging musical sensibility these musical types will open the ear and enrich the spirit. Some are physically demanding and require very good breath control, others need patience in learning new fingerings and timbres, and some travel to extreme registers. But, in all cases, the effort will be rewarding, and not only that, the knowledge gained about the oboe and how it works will be equally entertaining and stimulating.
Signals was launched at the University of York on 24th November 2010, when all seven works were performed by Melinda Maxwell.
Edited by Melinda Maxwell and John Stringer.