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Posts tagged 'solo flute'

Ensemble Dal Niente Premieres New Work by Anthony Cheung

Anthony Cheung is a composer with deep roots in both New York and Chicago. In one city he studied and still co-directs the Talea Ensemble, and in the other has been composing and teaching at the University of Chicago. Three members of Ensemble Dal Niente, one of Chicago's most dynamic new music ensembles, brings Cheung's music back to New York for an evening of works that bridge these two cities, featuring works for solo instruments and ensemble that travel between simplicity and virtuosity, meditation and play. 

On January 23rd at Spectrum NYC, flutist Emma Hospelhorn, oboist Andrew Nogal, and clarinetist Katie Schoepflin perform works by Cheung and several other composers based in Chicago and elsewhere. The instrumentalists will begin with solo works, including Cheung's Après une lecture for solo oboe, Toshio Hosokawa's Vertical Song I for solo flute, and Pierce Gradone'sAutomaton for solo bass, before moving on to ensemble works by Alex Temple, Carola Bauckholt, and Joël-François Durand. Check out Bauckholt's Zopf below. 

Vijay Iyer's "Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers)" Debuts at Claire Chase's "Density 2036" Series

Claire Chase's density 2036 series is perhaps one of the most ambitious commissioning projects of the 21st century: beginning in 2014, Chase has commissioned 60 minutes worth of compositions for solo flute, and will contintue to do so until 2036—the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse's Density 21.5. That means 22 years of commissions, which totals to 1320 minutes of music, and at least 100 new works. 

Chase's density 2036 commissions have already resulted in new works from Marcos Balter (Pessoa for six bass flutes), Mario Diaz de León (Luciform, for flute and electronics), and Matthias Pintscher (Beyond for solo flute). And for the fourth installment in 2016, Chase commissioned Vijay Iyer to compose Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers), a piece for fixed media / pre-recorded flute sounds. To make this piece, Iyer asked Chase to send him recordings of her improvising, and Iyer used these recordings to compose his piece. The resulting work consists entirely of non-pitched sounds recorded by Chase on five different flutes (contrabass flute, alto flute, flute, piccolo, and ocarina). Iyer explains:

[Chase] displayed a different personality on each instrument; it was like listening to a cypher of whisper-quiet battle emcees, or perhaps a series of encounters with various insect-robots, whirring and buzzing in the air in front of you. I decided I would treat each of her improvisations as an episode. I built a specific environment around each one, and ran them through effects so that her extemporaneous rhythms were triggering other sounds.


Writing in the Village Voice, critic Alison Kinney notes that "Claire Chase wants to show us what solo flute music sounds like when you take away the flute and the soloist. Or when the score is danced, the sound engineer performs, and the flute is played as a drum set."

Iyer's Flute Goals (Five Empty Chambers) reconfigures the roles of composer, performer, and engineer — a true collaboration between musical minds.

New Music Mondays: Morton Subotnick, Mario Diaz de Leon, & Scott Wollschleger

With snow piling up across America, it's a great opportunity to spend some time indoors practicing... new music! This week we're excited to feature three newly-pubilshed works: Morton Subotnick's "Trembling", Mario Diaz de Leon's "Luciform", and Scott Wollschleger's "America".

Morton Subotnick's "Trembling" is scored for violin, piano and "ghost score" technology, Subotnick's interactive electro-acoustic software which autonomously spatializes and reacts to acoustic phenomena. Taking a recording of Joan La Barbara speaking the word "trembling," Subotnick "recorded, synthesized, and transformed" this utterance and used it as the basis for his composition. Check out a sample of the recording below: 

Mario Diaz de Leon's "Luciform", for solo flute and electronics, also plays with the interaction between performer and software, but in a different way; the work is a "journey inward, a movement through a series of vision states. A difficult path, a rite of passage, hovering between diabolical intensity and lucid wakefulness." Recently recorded by Claire Chase for her fantastic album "Density," "Luciform" is a complex, intensely virtuosic work with a profound depth of both acoustic and electronic textures. 

Though Scott Wollschleger's "America", for solo cello, does not include electronics, it remains connected to Subotnick's and Diaz de Leon's works through its exploration of "timbre, virtuosity, and differential repetition." Not bound to pitch-space or harmonic structures, Wollschleger's work explores the timbral possibilities of the cello with extended technique with both instrumentation and sonic organization. 

 

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