August 2014 Convention
Chicago, IL

Flute+Electronics=Electrifying

Bright and early on the last day of the convention, talented flutists shared pieces featuring flute and electronics. The pieces were widely different in sound and character as well as in their use of electronics.

Mary Boodell, flute, and Benjamin Broening, electronics, performed Broening’s Twilight Shift. The piece slowly built to a final climatic moment where the audience was enveloped in sound. With the composer in the hall at the computer, the flute music and electronic sounds were controlled by two people.

Bright and early on the last day of the convention, talented flutists shared pieces featuring flute and electronics. The pieces were widely different in sound and character as well as in their use of electronics.

Mary Boodell, flute, and Benjamin Broening, electronics, performed Broening’s Twilight Shift. The piece slowly built to a final climatic moment where the audience was enveloped in sound. With the composer in the hall at the computer, the flute music and electronic sounds were controlled by two people.

Rebecca Ashe, flute, performed Life Drawing by Lawrence Fritts. The piece, written for Tadeu Coelho upon the death of a close friend, presents a very contemplative mood that becomes increasingly fractured. There were glass-like timbres in the piece that were so distinct they could only be achieved using electronic music.

Rogerio Wolf, flute and alto flute, performed Sete Palavras e um Punhal by Aylton Escobar. It was based on a dark Portuguese poem. The electronic backing track included music, sounds, and spoken word from the poem. The use of both C flute and alto flute as well as staging changes enhanced the overall meaning of both the poem and piece.

Kelly Sulick, flute, told a nice story prior to performing The Seventh Healing Song of John Joseph by James DeMars. She said that she chose the piece because of the theme of the convention: “Perform, Inspire, Educate!” When she was 18, she heard her teacher, Amy Porter, perform this work. It was the first flute and electronics piece she had ever heard. An interesting facet of the electronics in this piece is that the composer plays flute in the backing track. The performance started with a slow introduction and moved to a rhythmic section that ended energetically.

Lindsey Goodman, flute and electronics, performed Persistence of Memory by Mark Zanter. This introspective piece took listeners on a journey through the use of live flute and both electronic backing sounds and electronic delay. The memory of Goodman’s playing would “persist” through the delay of her sound over the course of many seconds. It was a very effective, haunting effect!

The concert ended with a performance by Viviana Guzman of three of her short compositions. The first, When Alone, featured a backing track of spoken poetry mixed with music and nature sounds while Guzman played live. The second, Native Soul, featured the use of a Native American drone-flute, a double flute with one tube producing a drone and the other tube, with finger holes, producing the melody. It was a very entertaining number. Her final piece was Ditze Diva in which she played the Chinese dizi flute. Her particular instrument was made of jade and had a beautiful tone that we immediately associate with Chinese traditional music.

—Karen McLaughlin Large