Escher Keys (2021)

(start at 31 minutes)

Composed in 2020, Escher Keys is a musical work from composer Mara Gibson that continues her long standing passion for drawing inspiration from a variety of artistic mediums. Inspired by the lithographs of MC Escher, Gibson explores timbral and attack possibilities between the bassoon and orchestra blurring the similar timbres through formal inversion and the investigation of negative/positive space.This process also resulted in a work that gives great room for bassoon soloist Darrel Hale to interpret his perception of the artwork in performance. Each movement juxtaposes traditional and non-traditional relationships between Hale interjecting his statements and the orchestra responding with atmospheric tessellations under the baton of Scott Terrell.


  • “(Escher Keys) is a fantastic new concerto for bassoon and chamber orchestra… resulting in a work that is highly inventive and often surprising.  As. The bassoonist, Hale demonstrates tremendous ability and creativity in his performance, and I would suspect his performance will stand as a definitive resource for future interpretations.  Between the imaginations of Hale and Gibson, I found this music to be deeply thought provoking.  I recommend listening to this music in darkness or with eyes closed.  Doing so myself inspired many different scenes and images in my mind’s eye, leading to an experience that was both emotional and profound.” 50 IDRS, celebrating 50 years, volume 44