Janet Oates - Five Ways To Go

Workshop performance video

It's surprising, sometimes, how quickly things fall apart or disappear. Something that seemed so secure, so solid, we hardly noticed it - then if falls to pieces in front of us. Whether bit by bit, or suddenly, whether dramatically or with a whisper, we are bereft. This piece presents a short, fairly trivial thing - which the quartet may take so much for granted that it may not even be played. Then, in just a few minutes, the object disappears in five different ways. Each loss is inevitable.

Composer: Janet Oates

Composer photo
Photo of Janet Oates

Having left teaching in secondary schools, Janet began studying composition at Royal Holloway, achieving a distinction in her MMus and going on to be awarded a PhD. She has written a chamber opera, an opera for amateurs, an oratorio for baroque forces, and a cantata for 6 voices with bells and theorbo. Other works are small-scale and intimate, including prize-winning songs; she runs an ongoing project called Closet Music which explores the auditory imagination rather than works to be performed out loud. She co-founded the Richmond New Music Collective, and works with Contemporary Music for All as tutor and ensemble leader. Recent lockdown work has seen her developing new collaborative possibilities using technology, as a way of connecting with other musicians. As a singer she enjoys contemporary song, especially premiering new works including those by Greg Rose, Rhiannon Randle and Tansy Davies, as well as singing early music in her ensemble Duo Maddalena, and jazz/pop music in her a capella trio The Decibelles. A recent solo recital raised over £1300 for Cancer Research UK. She conducts the Richmond Choral Society and several community groups, and is artistic director of the new vocal ensemble Philomel, specialising in 17th century works and new commissions, with a focus on female composers. Her current project is experimental music for choirs and for children, with the aim of taking accessible, creative vocal music into mainstream choirs and schools.


Workshop video