Four Fantasies (vol. 3)
Composer: Robert Oetomo
Duration: 15 min.
Similar to the previous two volumes, Four Fantasies (vol. 3) for Solo Marimba is also a collection of improvisations inspired by emotions or events indicated by the title. Composed in 2021, the fantasies in this volume are written specifically for a 4.3-octave marimba. Different to the previous two volumes however, the fantasies in this volume compliments one another and was put together with the possibility of playing the four separate pieces together as a set if the performer wishes to do so; as if it was a larger-scale work comprising of four “movements” per se.
The first fantasy in this collection, Fantasy No. 9: And what’s to come, is inspired by the curiosity as to how 2021 will unfold after an atrocious 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the world. While it’s difficult to think if the interim future would be worse, the same or improve for the better, this fantasy depicts a positive outlook of what’s to come.
Fantasy No. 10: Contemplation is a simple improvisation directly reflecting the title of this fantasy. At the time of composing this fantasy, I was contemplating the different aspects of life in the current climate living in the COVID-19 global pandemic; the good and the bad, the known as well as the unknown.
Fantasy No. 11: A New Day, A New Beginning is a light-hearted and groovy piece that is inspired by daily strolls with my dog during a period of lockdown and working-from-home. Sunshine, clear blue skies and the blossoming of flora and fauna in Australia’s late-winter/early-spring climate are little things I personally was able to appreciate and be thankful for. “Resetting” daily and taking things day by day, at times, can help when going through a rough patch.
The last fantasy in this volume is inspired by the idea of beautiful melodies found in Ave Maria by various composers such as Franz Schubert (possibly the most iconic), Charles Gounod, Astor Piazzolla and even pop singer Beyoncé. Fantasy No. 12: Thoughts and Prayers is written in a chorale style, with a message of hope intended behind the piece. Take comfort in the fact that there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel in every situation; “even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” – Victor Hugo.
About the composer +
Indonesian-born Australian percussionist and composer Robert Oetomo (b. 1988) studied his Master of Music (Künstlerische Ausbildung) degree in performance at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim, where he received highest distinction for his final graduation recital in 2014. He completed his Bachelor of Music (Performance) Honours Class I at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia in 2010. His previous teachers include Professor Dennis Kuhn, Jasmin Kolberg, Claire Edwardes, Daryl Pratt, Richard Miller and Gary Wain. He has accumulated many national and international awards including third prize in the Vibraphone category of the 9th Percussive Arts Society Italy International Percussion Competition in 2011, the ‘Just Percussion Marimba Prize’ at the Australian Percussion Gathering (APG) 2010, first prize in both the Open Marimba and Open Vibraphone categories of the 2010 Australian Percussion Eisteddfod and second prize at the 2008 Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Snare Drum Award. He also won the 2010 Sydney Conservatorium Percussion Concerto Competition, and was finalist in the 2012 Yamaha Music Foundation Europe Scholarship Competition.
A versatile percussionist, Robert has performed with different orchestras and ensembles including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, the Kurpfälzischen Kammerorchester Mannheim, the Australian Youth Orchestra, Synergy Percussion and Mannheimer Schlagwerk. He presented his paper, ‘The Transcription of J. S. Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites for the Modern Marimba,’ at APG 2010 Symposium ‘Moving Ground – The Changing Face of Percussion’. Robert was invited to perform his work, The Legend of the Golden Snail, at the Gala Concert of APG 2010, performing with highly acclaimed percussionists including Steve Schick, Sylvio Gualda and Kuniko Kato.
As a composer, Robert passionately advocates the development of percussion music. He has composed numerous works for percussion which have been performed all over the world. His first symphonic work, Spirit of The Dreaming with solo didgeridoo, was premiered at the ‘2008 Aurora Music Festival’ in Sydney, Australia. Later that year, it was performed again with renowned didgeridoo soloist, William Barton. Robert was selected for the 2010 Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra Composers' Workshop program during which he composed his new orchestral work, Reflections on an Island’s Landscape, under the mentorship of composer Nigel Butterley and John Peterson. His works are published by Edition Svitzer and Tapspace Publications. Robert is an Encore Mallets, Inc. endorser.