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Riff for Solo Flute

Here is another recent recording of a solo improvisation of mine.  Just prior to recording this one, I had finished another solo improvisation and had a rhythm suddenly stuck in my head.  I’m not sure where it came from, but that rhythm is the vehicle for this recording.  The opening rhythm functions as a riff that remains present throughout the way it would in a pop song – a pop song with dark and funky twist.  As I listen again, I can hear the beginnings of other instrumental parts accompanying the flute; this may very well become a piece in the future…

 

Beginning of a New Project

I have been doing a lot of solo improvisation at home lately.  Just by myself in my room – a luxury I haven’t had since last summer.  And this time, it comes with the strangeness of my new freedom.  I have been out of school before but this time, I have a degree.  I am working towards applying for grad school, but I also realize I don’t have to.  I should if I want a better “job” to pay off the debt I will be in until I hit retirement age – but I don’t have to.  I feel like I’m free-floating.  At any rate, I have been pumping out solo improvisations that use some of the new extended techniques I’ve learned as well as some I’ve know for a while.  I dive into the new stuff just to see what will happen; I experiment with familiar material to see where I can take it.  This is the first recording I have uploaded so far.  I began this improvisation with a long held note using an unconventional fingering.  I often use this technique to get me started: hold a tone and wait until I hear something before I play it.  The results are always surprising.  In this recording, what begins as hollow tones and delicate multiphonics becomes a wild exploration of a quote from a Robert Dick piece I learned a few years ago.  This quote takes me in a totally different direction than either the improvisation or Robert’s piece did, leaving me with a piece that sounds like a circus gone haywire. There will be more of this coming soon since I will be making a project out of recording my improvisations and documenting my process and the results.  I hope you enjoy this recording and the material to come.

Flute Player Tackles Technology!

Finally, after weeks (yes, weeks) of frustration, I have finally learned how to cut off parts of a sound file I don’t want, add fade outs and export the newly fixed file as a .wav.  I am not computer savvy, and I have a bunch of recordings lying around that just need a little patching up.  For me, this is a victory.

The first track I have chosen to unleash upon the digital world is a recording of one of the first free improvisations I ever did.  Recorded in 2009 in Denver Colorado, it features my wooden or “Native American” flute.  The other musicians in the recording are members of the band Still Light.  They were fascinated by my flute and asked me to just start playing and that they would follow along.  I complied despite feeling nervous and exposed, and this track is the result of that experiment.  It is interesting to look back at some of my earlier work as a flute player and see how far I have come as a performer and improviser.  Not to mention the instrument itself, which is beautiful in its own right.

There will be more of this soon, since I have finally figured out how to make recordings presentable for the internet.  Thank you for listening, hope you enjoy!

Prelude, a work in progress

Here is a long awaited recording of a piece I have been working on for a while.  Originally written in Composer/Performer ensemble as taught by Jovino Santos Neto at Cornish, it was arranged for flute, trombone, guitar, piano and vocals.  These were the members of the ensemble.  I was very fortunate to have been able to take this class and I really learned a lot.  I did not even know how to use notation software at the time, and the entire 14 page score was written by hand!  Since that time, I have rearranged the piece for flute, cello and piano.  And I have entered it into Sibelius.  I’m moving up in the world!  The piece is not quite where I want it yet – the piano part needs a little work, and I hope to get a more polished recording of it to upload again soon.  For now, this version includes Mitchell Gustin on piano, Ebony Miranda on cello and myself on flute.  I hope you enjoy.

And the Video

Also, here is the video of my recital. The sound quality is not as good as the Soundcloud version which I posted previously but hey, being able to watch it is kind of cool, right?

Recording Posted

I have just posted the Souncloud version of my senior recital, Medieval is a Two Way Choro, under SoundBits. I have also included it in this post. Thanks again to all who came and I hope to have more for you soon!

The Big Night Looms Near

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As of today there are exactly thirteen days left until the big event of Saturday April 5, 2014.  I swing back and forth between waves of anxiety and surges of excitement as it creeps closer.  I feel like I’m juggling strangely shaped objects as I scramble to put the rest of the pieces of the big night together and yet somehow they are all still in the air.  My senior recital has been a long time in coming, and there have been many peaks and valleys on the way both in and out of school.  While I have “technically” been in college now for five years, it really has taken nine years to get to this point.  Five years ago a close friend told me that I was “an amazing flute player,” and that I should try to get into to a nice school somewhere.  I didn’t believe him; in fact my heart sank when he told me this because I wanted so badly for it to be true.  At the time I was stuck in a real mess and had very little hope for the future.  I remember all this as I write out the acknowledgments for my program and the emotions are making it really hard to say what I want to say.  In brief, I never thought I would make it to this point.  But here I am, and I look forward to the night of April 5th with eager anticipation.  I hope you all have marked your calendars and I look forward to celebrating this special event with all of you.