The programme is as follows:
KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN – FLAUTINA - Solo flute - Helen Whittaker
Flautina is supposed to be a ‘flute-spirit in human form’, and the performer is meant to portray a feminine and enchanting character. It was written as a birthday present for Stockhausen's muse Kathinka Pasveer. The required prop for this piece is a quiver in which the performer places her piccolo, flute and alto flute. When the flautist changes instruments the music is bridged by sung and hummed phrases, the idea being that there is no lull in the momentum of the music. The piece is quite a private and personal journey, but it still invites the audience in to partake in Flautina’s world.
TORU TAKEMITSU - TOWARDS THE SEA Flute, guitar - Helen Whittaker and Grant McFarlane Dowse
Takemitsu's preoccupation with water has been noticeable in much of his musical output, and stretched back to his early work 'Water Music' from 1963. Towards The Sea was commissioned by Greenpeace in 1981 as part of their Save The Whale campaign. The three sections (The Night, Moby Dick, and Cape-Cod) are in reference to Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick. The sound of the whale song is brilliantly imitated by the unique timbre of the alto flute: the use of note bends and alternate fingerings create a haunting and ethereal sound.
DAI FUJIKURA – POISNON MUSHROOM -Flute, electronics - Jenni Hogan
In the composer’s words, "It is all the fault of War….."said by the old woman to Richard Gere at the climactic point of the film "Rhapsody in August". When I was born, the Japanese economy was at its zenith, the city I grew up in was peaceful. The post war regeneration of Japan had been a success. So when I visited Hiroshima-city on a School trip, it was hard to imagine something had happened to this beautiful city. When I went to Junior High I remember that we all had to come to school on the 6th of August. The first time I had to do this I thought it was very strange. In the middle of the summer holidays, I had to go to school. Normally people are going away to see their grandparents, some rich families were going on holiday abroad. On the 6th of August, we all sat in the big sports hall at school, absolutely boiling, bathed in sweat. This is the day atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima in my grandparents’ time. So we would mark the anniversary by attending school, watching the films about the war/atomic bomb, also looking at the photos of the people who had suffered, and were still suffering the after effects of the atomic bomb. Some of the photos were so strong and violent that even as a small child, I remember them well. One year I remember this talk: a survivor told us that everyone was jumping into the river after the bomb was dropped. Because of the searing heat, everybody wanted to be doused. They didn't know the water in the river was boiling. When I was writing this piece, all the visions which I have seen about Hiroshima/Nagasaki/atomic bomb related materials were in my head. It is our duty to remember.”
RORY SIMMONS – GLASS DANCERS String quartet, drums, electronics
Glass Dancers was inspired by the composer’s interest in the more cinematic apporach to electronic music and production along with a passion for 20th century string writing. “I wanted to experiment with fusing these sounds, in a similar way to how Max De Wardener, Ben Frost and Nicolas Bernier have. But using the sonic approach of someone like Humcrush or David Torn” says the composer. “I was writing some string music while away on tour and at the same time, listening a lot to the David Torn album Prezens and the Tim Berne album The Sevens. But also my interest in more cinematic sounds like Max Richter and Jon Hopkins got me thinking about a totally different sound-world. Plus I liked the idea of producing something where I don't actually really play any instrument. Its been a really exciting project to complete - with the post production element being so integral. I'm hoping to transfer much of this sonic approach to the next album I make”.
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