August 2006 Convention
Pittsburgh, PA

Robert Dick: Circular Breathing In Performance

August 10, 12, 13, 2006
Robert Dick

Robert Dick

Flutist Robert Dick appeared in three “acts.” On Thursday he traced his creative journey, illustrating with samples of his music and his glissando head joint as he shared the sources of his inspiration for his search for an expanded flute vocabulary. On Saturday, the packed lecture hall was encouraged to believe they could and must learn to circular breathe.

By performing the same phrase both using circular breathing and playing traditionally, Dick made the case for providing the performer more latitude for expression when supply of air is not an issue. Watching Dick’s upper body while playing was more instructive than merely hearing or reading about circular breathing or hearing a recording. Concluding the entire convention as the lone performer in a cavernous ballroom, Dick performed six works as a mini retrospective of his work. Infusing his final piece on a bass flute in F with “sci-fi” sounds and energy, Robert Dick suggested that his musical language is the direction flutists will take in the future.

—Ginny Atherton