C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Oesterle, Michael: Delilah (2014) 



Basic information

  • Title: 
    Delilah (2014)
  • Duration (in minutes): 
  • Year of composition: 
  • First performance (year): 
  • First performance (venue): 
    Heritage Hall, Vancouver
  • First performance (performers): 
    Mark McGregor
  • Genre: 


  • Program notes: 

    Alan Turing rode his bicycle.
    He rode his bicycle to work.
    He rode to Bletchely Park.
    Riding, the chain on his bicycle come off.

    He rode his bicycle, counting - until the chain came off. He rode his bicycle, counting.
    Counting, he stopped before the chain came off.
    He fixed the chain.

    Riding again, counting,
    he rode his bicycle to Bletchley Park. Counting.

    Alan Turing (1912-1954) was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner. In 2012, Turing’s 1944 reports on his “speech system” Delilah, were finally pulled from the British National Archives and opened to the public. This functional machine, designed to scramble and descramble voice messages, was so far ahead of its time that it resembles the way we currently store music in digital format.

    The musical construction of Delilah for solo flute was motivated by Turing’s unorthodox search for humanity or human intelligence within patterns and systems. It uses modules within a scheme of a triangular number sequences, applied to a metric grid of constant alternation between two and three. The music constantly resets, like the chain on Turing’s bicycle (one of the stories of Turing’s eccentricities related by his colleagues at Bletchley Park - headquarters of the code breaking brain-trust for Britain in WW II). It searches for answers to an unasked question, allowing this systematic approach to create subtle emotional shifts. Like Turing, it presents its puzzle playfully: in its persistence it becomes serious and then, as it begins to wallow in the process itself, lightens its mood again: a simple arc in a pattern of system, method, and discovery, it’s greatest motivation the joy of moving forward.

    Delilah was commissioned by Mark Takeshi MeGregor, with financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts 



Total number of musicians: 
Musicians1st player2nd player



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