for shakuhachi and string quartet (2016)
duration: 8’
GRT • 191

score available from
Australian Music Centre

program note
Oxygen is vital to human life. It’s all around us. And perhaps there is oxygen on other planets. The Hubble telescope detected evidence of molecular oxygen on Jupiter’s moon Europa. But we haven’t been there and breathed it. Currently, the most distant air that we know we can breathe is found on the International Space Station that orbits Earth. The main source of that air is created by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. The latter is vented externally and the oxygen is vented into the cabin. By extension, this makes the ISS the most remote habitable zone currently accessible to humans.

This piece was commissioned by Riley Lee and Enigma Quartet with assistance from the Music Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.

“Next was Stuart Greenbaum’s Oxygen with Lee bubbling on the shakuhachi, darting in and out of the pulsating, scurrying strings. A strong flourish took us to a sharp ending.”
Lynne Lancaster, http://performing.artshub.com.au/, December 2017