Flutes (A Suite of Inventions for Solo Flutes)
Flutes is a set of four Inventions, the first of which is for flute in C; the second, for alto flute in G; the third, for piccolo and the fourth, again, for flute in C. A microphone attached to a reverberation/amplifier unit (such as one used for an electric guitar) should be located in front of the player for the performance of Arias and Fantasy. The piece was composed in 1980 in Binghamton, New York and is dedicated to flutist, Georgetta Maiolo (who performed its World Premiere).
The composition calls for some extended flute techniques such as HT-tonguing, multiphonics, humming while playing and whistling into the instrument.
1.Rhapsody – This is a multi-sectional Invention, based on six-note patterns. A single bent pitch, recurrent throughout the movement, introduces the first section which is characterized by rhythmically driving lines and sudden contrasts in dynamics. The second section, a fantasy-like march, follows after a brief pause. The remainder of the piece alternates and varies these two sections until, finally, the ideas merge.
2.Arias – Two arias, one lyrical with long melodic lines, the other dance-like and more fragmented, form this floating and reverberant Invention. The second aria calls upon the player to simultaneously hum and play, as well as whistle into the amplified flute. An abbreviated version of the opening aria closes the piece.
3.Gigues – This Invention may be imagined as a musical play constructed on two original gigues fashioned after the Baroque dance, each having its own tempo and character. The performer and listener should imagine a scenario, such as that of a pushy child against a non-provoking peer or, even, a David and Goliath story. Gigue No. 1, the aggressor, is characterized by a high-pitched figure consisting of a grace note followed by a saucy flutter-tongue. Gigue No. 2, the non-aggressor, consists of a light and playful melody written in the lower register of the instrument. Gigue No. 2 is “provoked,” a “confrontation” occurs and a “battle” takes place. In the end, Gigue No. 2 emerges the victor.
4.Fantasy – A dreamlike piece in free structure, this Invention is intended to convey a feeling of timelessness through floating sonorities created by exploiting the sensuous qualities of the reverberation on the electrified flute in C and its lowest pitch, B.