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Solo flute quartet

In October I will be undertaking an exciting tour of new work for solo flute and electronics. The works have been created in collaboration with composers from the UK,  USA and Ireland, and each piece creates a unique sound environment with the flute placed at the centre.

SOLO FLUTE QUARTET was written in 2018 by Simon Emmerson, Emeritus Professor at De Montfort University in Leicester and internationally renowned electronic composer. In this piece I alternate between piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute, making use of the enhanced multiphonic and microtonal capabilities of Kingma System instruments. The electronics also uses recordings of these multiphonics as part of the soundscape, freezing, spatialising, echoing and projecting the live sound into labyrinths of colour around the audience in an 8-channel speaker system.

TREE FLUTE by Karen Power will receive its premiere performance in London on 12 October as part of this tour. Karen is an Irish composer whose music often engages with environmental sounds. In this piece, the baroque flute d’amour is paired with field recordings of the wind moving through trees. She highlights the vulnerability and instabilities inherent in the baroque flute and makes use of the characteristic sounds and timbral qualities of the instrument. I play from a graphic score, responding to a private soundtrack played through headphones. The audience hears my live interpretations, along with a public aural soundtrack based on the field recordings. 

ISLANDS by American composer Scott Miller is combines improvised flute sounds with an ecosystemic electroacoustic environment. The electronics are controlled by the volume levels in the performance space, with data collected through a microphone and used to control the rate of change, as well as the pathway through the musical material. The title, Islands, relates to an image of a section of the Mississippi river, close to the composer’s home, which constitutes the performance score. The different pathways contain different sonic characteristics, all of which I respond to through improvisation. The composer says:

“As a metaphor for the composition, the performer enters the river of processing and navigates it sonically, from island to island. The islands emerge from the river, made of the stuff that lies beneath the surface, providing unique environments that are a part of and separate from the river. The performer’s interactions with the river and the islands influence the environment immediately and downriver, which is really just a function of time, like in music. Islands can be understood as the confluence of many independent environments which unfold in generally predictable ways over the course of the composition” 

Hear the performances on:

9 October – Ellen Terry Building, Coventry University 1pm


12 October – Iklectik, London 8pm


16 October – De Montfort University, Leicester 7pm

18 October – Bristol University 1.15pm


24 October – Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast 1pm http://www.qub.ac.uk/sarc/events/NewMusicforFlutesandElectronics.html

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Posted by author: Carla
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