Flute Thing

for flute and tape operator, 1970, duration: 10 minutes.2,3

"FLUTE THING (1970) is scored for solo flute and tape operator, but it creates the illusion of performance by a choir of flutes. Using different tape decks to record and play back material played moments earlier, the tape operator controls on‑line the accompaniment to the live flute, piling line over line so as to create canonic and harmonic textures.

"The work opens with long sustained notes in the low register and, through the mixing of flute and recording, gradually builds until silence interrupts. The flute and tape proceed to build again, this time with fast, chattering note‑groups that end with the flute alone sustaining a low 0‑flat. Then the flute repeats a three‑note group, D‑flat, A‑flat, C‑flat, ten to fifteen times, allowing the tape system to create a static sonority against which the flute later plays a solo. This is followed by a strict canon between flute and tape (the only metered portion of the score).

"After a different static sonority is generated, there is an unaccom­panied flute cadenza. When the tape re‑starts, it records a group of running notes followed by one sustained note. This figure is alternated with its retrograde form through several repetitions, creating a back­ground for the flute's next series of pointillistic pitches. The piece fades to a close with a return of the first static sonority, D‑flat, A‑flat, C‑flat."



Diane Gold, flute


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1 Published by Theodore Presser Co., Inc.

2 Published by Carl Fischer, Inc. = available from Theodore Presser Co., Inc.

3 Recorded by CRI. - available from New World CRI :  Catalog No. NWCRL484

4 Recorded by SEAMUS Recordings

5 Available from the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music

6 Recorded by Black Canyon Recordings

7 Recorded by Albany Records

T   © Larry Nelson 2017