Flute Force

Date: Feb 6, 2014

Time: 07:30 PM

Location: Rudder Theater

City: College Station, TX


Poems, Songs, and Dreams:
Music for Diverse Flutes, Theremin, and Stop-motion Animation

Poem in December (2011)

Elizabeth Brown, shakuhachi,
Wendy Stern and Rie Schmidt, flute
Kathleen Nester, alto flute

Marty Regan (b. 1972)
Jacob’s Ladder (2007) Richard Arnest (b. 1950)
Quartet for Diverse Flutes (1987) Peter Bacchus (b. 1954)
A Bookmobile for Dreamers (2013)

A Meet the Composer Commission
Video and models by Lothar Osterburg
Performed by Elizabeth Brown, theremin,
with Flute Force

Elizabeth Brown (b. 1953)

Admission: $5 for students, $10 for others. Tickets available at the MSC Box Office


Program Notes

Poem in December combines the traditional ancient Japanese shakuhachi with modern flutes — the piccolo, alto flute and two c flutes, in a pensive musical homage to Marty Regan’s teacher and mentor, Minoru Miki. Gestural vocabulary from the traditional sulzen (blowing zen) repertoire is juxtaposed into an otherwise Western compositional language to create an extremely satisfying musical hybrid.

Jacob’s Ladder is based on the spiritual We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder. The performers are situated antiphonally, as this is a spatial work, where the room and the acoustics of the room become an integral part of the music. The piece calls for piccolo, alto flute, and bass flute in addition to the traditional c flutes and uses various extended techniques.

Flutist composer Peter Bacchus composed Quartet for Diverse Flutes for Flute Force in 1987, while a member of the ensemble. Peter remarks, “When this piece was written, I had already played with Flute Force for four years, and consequently, I had developed a keen sense for the capabilities of each instrument and player. I make use of piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute, but the players are also called upon to switch back and forth between instruments.” Musical influtences were Harvey Solberger, with whom he studied contemporary repertoire and techniques during the 1970s and John Corigliano, with whom he studied in the mid ’80s. While Corigliano was writing his Pied Piper Fantasy for James Galway years previous to that, Peter was the player with whom Corigliano tried his ideas for that piece. The writing in the second movement of Quartet for Diverse Flutes, with its endless stream of fast notes, was probably influenced by the same type of writing in the Pied Piper Fantasy.

The second half of the concert will feature Elizabeth Brown’s A Bookmobile for Dreamers. A work that combines theremin (played by the composer), a recorded soundscape, and a video into a meditation on books, reading, libraries, and culture. Inspired by the joy of browsing, A Bookmobile for Dreamers celebrates the imagination as triggered by the printed word. As a bookmobile makes its rounds, we enter a series of books and are carried away with the leaps, associations, and meanderings of the imagination in all its unpredictability. Brown and video artist Lothar Osterburg have been collaborating since 2003. Osterburg, who is a sculptor, photographer, printmaker, and filmmaker, has created a dreamlike model world using real time video, stop motion animation, and some special effects. Brown’s theremin sings over an electronic soundscape which she built from transformed field recordings of everyday sounds. The flutists of Flute Force act as a Greek Chorus, and Brown uses the theremin’s special playing technique to interact with the visual world of the video projection