In the Summer of 2008, my friend Chester Biscardi gave me a copy of André Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name, and I immediately fell in love with the story and characters. I’d only been out for six years at the time, so the memories of that tentativeness, that abandon, that confusion about who I was felt fresh still. And the simple beauty of the title always stuck with me.
So years later, when I was casting about for a title for a new oboe and piano piece I was going to be working on, it only felt right to turn to Aciman’s novel for inspiration. The title evoked the intimacy and beauty of the oboe, and the episodic nature of the novel, with its tenderness and turmoil, seemed perfect for the form I had in mind.
The piece, which alternates between languid, lyrical passages and sections marked by driving motor rhythms, is a subtle dialogue between the two instruments – each adopting elements from the other, and adapting them into their own language, sometimes tenderly, sometimes mockingly. The piece closes with a reprise of the opening material: softer, more gentle, fading into memory.