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Oblivion, Angelus: The Music of John Aylward

Nina Guo from cover of "Oblivion"
Nina Guo from the cover of Oblivion

Oblivion, Angelus: The Music of John Aylward

Oblivion explores the afterlife, in all its spiritual, mythological, and existential aspects. It’s a story of displacement.

Two wanderers, a man and a woman, move through an otherworldly place where they encounter two strange archetypal figures—a hunter and a bound man who turns out to be a king.

Oblivion features:
Nina Guo, soprano, as the Second Wanderer
Lukas Papenfusscline, tenor, as the Bound Man and King
Tyler Boque, baritone, as the First Wanderer
Cailin Marcel Manson, baritone, as the Hunter.

Laura Williamson, viola;
Issei Herr, cello
Greg Chudzik, bass
Daniel Lippel , electric guitar.
John Aylward and Tianyi Wang, electronics
Stratis Minakakis, Music Director and conductor.

Oblivion was first performed at the Bombyx Center in Florence, Massachusetts in March of 2022.

Oblivion Synopsis & Libretto

Oblivion Score

Music Recording

Recording Booklet

Oblivion part 1.mp3
Oblivion-part 2.mp3


Angleus Novus, Paul Klee
Angleus Novus, Paul Klee

Angelus is a personal work that reflects on the history of displacement and isolation that John Aylward's mother encountered as a child refugee in Germany after WWII. The work was inspired by Angelus Novus, a painting by Paul Klee. The lyrics are based on texts on philosophy, psychology and spirituality by a number of writers.

Angelus features
Nina Guo, soprano
The Ecce Ensemble:
Emi Ferguson, flutes
Hassan Anderson, oboe
Barret Ham, clarinet
Pala Garcia, violin
John Popham, cello
Sam Buddish, percussion
Jean-Phillipe Wurtz, conductor

Angelus Score

John Aylward

John Aylward
John Aylward

John Aylwardgrew up in the Sonoran Desert, on the border of Arizona and Mexico, a child of immigrants and in circumstances of both tremendous diversity and economic instability. His music processes the impact of his early life, filled with a deep sense of community, rich expressions of converging cultural histories, and the otherworldly landscapes of the desert.

Aylward has received awards and fellowships from many organizations including the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Library of Congress and the Fulbright Foundation. A resident of western Massachusetts, he is an Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at Clark University.

Oblivion, Angelus: The Music of John Aylward
The program features the entire performance of Oblivion and selections from Angelus. Cailin Marcel Manson, one of the featured performers in Oblivion, is the program's host. The program was produced for Classical NEPM by John Voci..

John Voci is Senior Director, Radio, at New England Public Media.