Agoraphobia
for flute, harp & electronics

Stephen Andrew Taylor, 2008-2009

"Blue Cave " by Hua Nian

Commissioned by Ann Yeung for the World Harp Congress, supported by funds from the University of Illinois and the WHC. Premiere (acoustic version): 19 April 2008, Belgrade, Serbia. Jonathan Keeble, flute; Ann Yeung, harp. Premiere (electronic version): 25 July 2008, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Premiere of the complete version: 15 August 2009, New York City (National Flute Association); 19 August 2009, Montreal (International Computer Music Conference). Available on Amazon and iTunes.


Agoraphobia.mp3 (6:30)

Agoraphobia 2 (4:40)

First movement (acoustic version, 6:25)

Program Note

Agoraphobia (“the fear of open spaces”) attempts to evoke feelings of extreme wonder and terror—stepping into an alien, unknown world for the first time. The music is inspired by a passage from Ursula K. Le Guin's 2002 novella, Paradises Lost; in my opera of the same name, an orchestral adaptation of this music depicts the voyagers of Discovery landing on the planet Shindychew.

Wind, air moving fast, hard, endlessly blowing, making you cold, so you shivered, shuddered, like having a fever, the wind stopping and starting, restless, stupid, unpredictable, unreasonable, maddening, hateful, a torment...

Wind, air moving softly, moving slender grasses in waves over the hills, carrying odors from a long way off, so you lifted your head and sniffed, breathed it in, the strange, sweet, bitter smell of the world.

The sound of wind in a forest.

Wind that moved colors in the air.

Technical requirements

Flute: one mic with stand and cable
Harp: one mic with stand and cable
- small mixer, such as a Mackie 1202
- 2 loudspeakers plus amplifier (or powered speakers); if there are 4 or more speakers they can be used for spatial effects.
Video (optional):
- projector
- 10’ x 10’ screen, or larger
Space: enough space for flutist and harpist onstage, plus a table for mixer and two laptops (one for audio, one for video)
Lighting: appropriate for the video to be clearly seen; possibly a stand light for the two musicians



Last updated March 8, 2013 by Stephen Andrew Taylor, staylor7@illinois.edu