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for oboe and string orchestra (min. 43321)  

The emotional roots of this piece lay in Murphy’s own thoughts about the flaws of society and the arrival of the new millennium in the year 2000. Coming from a century of war and turmoil, from a civilization shaped by generations of hate, Murphy began to think of rage and violence in terms of a poison moving through our society, in the same way that venom, or disease, moves through a human body. The single-movement piece is divided into three sections (fast, slow, fast) that unfold over approximately twelve minutes. It opens with an expressive cello solo that gradually climbs to a high C sharp. The rest of the strings enter at this point, providing a shimmering background for the solo oboe. The fast section is frantic and agitated. The final section returns to the material and mood of the first, leaving unanswered the questions that have been raised.

Performed by:
Lawrence Cherney, oboe
Encounters Chamber Orchestra
Gary Kulesha, conductor