Edmund Jolliffe

This month Edmund Jolliffe’s solo work for oboe and pre-recorded oboes is featured in the Journal. Edmund’s work, Pan, has also been added to the New Oboe Collection curated in partnership with Composers Edition (click here to view).


Instrumentation: Oboe and pre-recorded oboes

Duration: 7’30

First Performance: December 2011, James Turnbull, Bristol University Concert Series.

One of the famous myths of Pan involves the origin of his pan flute, fashioned from lengths of hollow reed. Syrinx was a lovely water-nymph of Arcadia, daughter of Landon, the river-god. As she was returning from the hunt one day, Pan met her. To escape from his importunities, the fair nymph ran away and didn’t stop to hear his compliments. He pursued from Mount Lycaeum until she came to her sisters who immediately changed her into a reed. When the air blew through the reeds, it produced a plaintive melody. The god, still infatuated, took some of the reeds, because he could not identify which reed she became, and cut seven pieces joined them side by side in gradually decreasing lengths, and formed the musical instrument bearing the name of his beloved Syrinx. Henceforth Pan was seldom seen without it.

This piece attempts to tell the above story of Pan, who strikes me as a very frustrated lover – never quite in tune with Syrinx and never winning her over.

For more information about this work and to buy the score click here

About Edmund Joliffe

Edmund studied music at Oxford University and completed a Masters in Film Composition at the Royal College of Music, under Academy Award Winner Dario Marianelli. He also studied on the Advanced Composition Course at Dartington International Summer School and completed an artistic residency at the Banff Centre, Canada, in 2010.

Recent commissions include pieces for The London Gay Men’s Chorus and Trifarious. This year he has composed pieces for OUP’s Flexible Anthem collection and for a new collection of piano music published by ABRSM (Piano Star). He is the recipient of the Renée B. Fisher Composer Award for 2016. Recently he won the Ely Consort Advent Composing Competition, the Hendrix College Candelight Carol Competition and the Amadeus Song-writing Competition. His music is published by OUP, Stainer and Bell, ABRSM, Reed and Recital Music.

He also writes music for TV, where shows include the BBC 1 series ‘Who do you think you are?’, the ITV series ‘Long Lost Family’ and Channel Four’s ‘Unreported World’. Currently he is writing music for the second series of Discovery’s ‘Homestead Rescue’. The film ‘Revolution’ which he scored, has just opened in cinemas. He was recently nominated for an RTS Award for his score to ‘Elizabeth at 90 – A Family Tribute’.

More information about him can be found at: www.edmundjolliffe.com.