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Onomastic Gymnastics

for two or more voices, with optional instrumental accompaniment

Year:  2019   ·  Duration:  5m

Year:  2019
Duration:  5m

Composer:   Celeste Oram

Films, Audio & Samples

Celeste Oram: Onomastic Gym...

Embedded audio
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Sample Score

Sample: first page (SATB optimized score)

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Sample Score

Sample: page 2 (full score)

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This song takes inspiration from (among other things) medieval French songs or chanson to explore both quirky counterpoint, as well as highly structured poetic forms (like the rondeau) which offer an opportunity to play with rhyme, repetition, and wordplay.

‘Onomastics’ is the field of study around the history and origin of proper names, especially personal names. Thus, the lyrics of this rondeau meditate on the history and politics around the naming of people and places, especially as an agent of colonisation. This piece, then, reflects my continuing interest in anachronistically adopting historical musical forms and styles associated with either socio-political critique (e.g. medieval chanson) and/or spiritual reflection (e.g. liturgical music) to explore contemporary questions of society, politics and faith.

This work can be performed by any number of singers and/or instrumentalists. For choral performances, see the version of the score optimized for SATB.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Steven Schick for the Breckenridge Music Festival

Dedication note

for Nicolee Kuester

Text note

text by Celeste Oram