John Oliver, composer

News Archive

1982 percussion duo METRO MUSIC new edition

I wrote Metro Music at the Banff Centre for the Arts in July 1982, and it was first performed there in the Max Bell Auditorium by David MacRae and Greg Murray on July 30.

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Raven Steals the Light orchestral score revised

I finished revising my orchestral score Raven Steals the Light. Having run across the score I used for the first performance in 1999 and another performance in 2005, I realized there were some clear improvements that I could make to a few sections, and so voilà, there is a clean new score. In addition, I always thought that if the story were told as part of the performance – somewhat like Peter and the Wolf – that the audience experience would be enhanced. And so now there is a narrator part to tell the story.

You can hear an excerpt below from the end of the piece (where the eagle chases the raven to the horizon) from the original award-winning recording which is published by Centrediscs.
(Any problems seeing the excerpt? Click here to go listen on soundcloud.)


"Our City Square" arranged for guitar trio

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Oliver has arranged his “Our City Square” for guitar trio. Originally written for the various plucked instruments of his Big World Band, Oliver realized after the first performance that the rather modernist approach to rhythm was more appropriately set for an all-guitar ensemble. Read More...

CD Launch - PEP Project - featuring ETERNITY GAZE

PEP Modulus Festival CD Release Concert - Erhu and piano virtuosos Nicole Ge Li and Corey Hamm of PEP (Piano and Erhu Project) present a concert of World Premieres at the Roundhouse, Vancouver as part of Music on Main's Modulus Festival.

Oliver's ETERNITY GAZE is featured on the CD with Oliver performing on electric guitar.

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UNSEEN RAIN now available with guitar accompaniment

I have completed an arrangement for guitar and mezzo of my work originally commissioned for Judith Forst with the CBC Radio Orchestra, UNSEEN RAIN on poetry by Rumi. It was a mammoth undertaking to arrange textural orchestral music for guitar!

You can get a copy of the score at my store.

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Oliver "A Dream of Africa" now available on CD

Oliver arranged his much-loved piece A Dream of Africa for the Chinese quartet Red Chamber and it has now been released by the ensemble on a great collection of collaborations with great Vancouver musicians and composers, a CD titled Gathering.



Oliver "Eagle Flies to Mountain" now available on CD

Oliver appears as guest conductor for his composition Eagle Flies to Mountain on the recent release by the BC Chinese Music Association of their 10th Anniversary Celebration CD titled Bamboo Shoots in Spring.



Oliver new releases

Canadian composer John Oliver saw two releases dedicated to his music during the first half of 2012: "Time is Dust", a DVD-audio of immersive surround music was released on February 20, and a CD of his orchestral music was released on the Centrediscs label on May 11. Read More...