Compositions —

Listen to an excerpt

Undr

1999 • 13 minutes • Orchestra solo oboe/2222/4231/2 pc/hp/strings

He took up his harp and uttered the word 'undr', which means 'wonder'. The dying man's song held me rapt, but in it and in his chords I recognized my own voice, by own verses, the slave woman who gave me my first love, the men I had killed, the chill of dawn, daybreak over the water, the oars. I took up the harp and sang to a different word.
"'All right,' the old man said, and I had to draw close to hear him, 'You have understood.'"
Jorges Luis Borges, from The Book of Sand

'Undr' was composed for oboist James Mason and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony as part of my residency there.