oboe solo with tape
Premiered in 1986 by Libby Van Cleve at California Institute of the Arts
Published by Chez Vees Music (formerly Leisure Planet Music)
The oboe is the original sound source for all of the tape portions of Apocrypha. I recorded several samples of the oboe played into a piano, resonating the strings. This raw material was then processed by computer and other digital equipment. I mention these technical aspects because they reflect the relationship between the live and electronic elements. From its inception, the piece was designed for both parts to be equal, not a solo voice with accompaniment, nor an attempt at multiple live images. In the traditional sense, neither one carries the “theme”, but the individual parts revolve about one another sometimes tightly, other times broadly, giving and receiving sonic material. Apocrypha dates from 1985, and is a latter day example of an instrument and “tape” piece, when tape actually meant just that.
From the Composer:
This was the first of many collaborations with my wife, oboist Libby van Cleve.
“The best parts of the program were the two electronic pieces. Jack Vees’ Apocrypha was looking-glass music; Van Cleve played against digitally manipulated recordings of her own playing, and the effect was astounding. It was as if she were shouting to her alter ego across the mouth of a mile-wide canyon, or singing to herself in a barren, arid wasteland.” –Erika Penzer, The New Haven Register
“Apocrypha…was pastoral and meditative, but had more substance and stronger playing than found on New Age music created strictly for mellowing out.” –Doug Maine, The Hartford Courant