Onhatashon:'a - Branches (2021)
Composed by Dawn Avery
Commissioned by EngleWinds
Onhatashon:'a is the Kanièkéha (Mohawk) word for Branches. This work honors the longstanding commitment by Sarah Davol and RJ Kelley to the performance and commission of chamber works that are dedicated to the environment and social justice. It also honors their personal commitment to each other. The oboe and French horn players have varying musical roles reflective of relationship – to the earth, each other, music and the human world around them. Musical phrases include supportive roles with both instruments are equal in their playing of ostinato, one instrument with an ostinato in support of the other instrument’s solo and phrases where they have equal roles that move together. The sounds of branches, most of which are performed by members of the audience and in the audience, are constant and are heard at different levels depending on the texture of the oboe and French horn. This combination of instruments reflects on the connection of people to the natural world and the creative ability of musicians and all of the arts to express those connections.
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