An Oasis Remembered (2017)
Erik Simmons, organ
Duration: 4 min.
Dedication: in memoriam Robert Allworth (1943–2017)
An Oasis Remembered (2017) was written in memory of Australian composer Robert Allworth (1943–2017). Much of Allworth’s output was inspired by Roman Catholicism and a deep devotion to the saints. Other works are inspired by ancient civilizations, literary classics, and a variety of diverse subjects. A remarkable sound painter of mood and atmosphere, Allworth’s musical language blended serial technique with romantic/impressionist harmonies and a kind of tranquil spiritual ecstasy.
Although we never met in person, I worked with Robert from 2000–06 on a variety of new organ compositions and recordings of his existing ones for his Jade record label. Through his many CD releases, he championed the music of countless Australian composers, an effort for which he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1997. As Robert did not use a computer, we exchanged numerous handwritten letters during those years, a number of which I re-read before writing this simple musical remembrance.
A bold refrain occurs three times. In between are two episodes employing one of Robert’s favorite harmonic constructions: parallel major 7th chords.
Although there are no musical quotations, the title refers to An Oasis in Moonlight (2004), the largest of the organ works that Robert dedicated to me.