Catching the sounds in the air
For Solo Flute
Duration: 7’ 35”
Year of Composition: 2017
The work received its premiere performances on February, 27, 2017 Emily Yoo, Soloist, Ball State Snapshot Conference, Choral Hall, Ball State University, Muncie, IN and by on April 29, 2017 by Alfredo Muñoz at California State University, Northridge, Northridge, California.
PROGRAM NOTES (LONG VERSION)
Catching the Sounds in the Air inspired by the poignant sounds that the modern day flute can produce. In my imagination, I tried the best to capture the image of contemporary art, architecture, and paintings. The first movement draws attention to the beautiful sonorities where the flute is rarely written for capturing this low, haunting emulation a “dark air". I intentionally let the composition manifests itself in a slow dark realm deliberate unfolding frequent suspensions of pitch, color and timbre that deliberately draw the listener's attention to a specific sound. This composition employs some serial techniques, but they do not control the piece. Rather, serialism is treated like every other element in the work—a sonic quality that can be brought to the attention, or it can be left dormant as found in the second movement.
I always have always wanted to write a jazz composition, and even though this composition is movement is not to be swung in time, it truly depicts my love for modern jazz. As the subtitle suggests, “cool air” is something that I want the player to imagine, something like going to the beach and have a really nice cold beverage. The rhythms and melodic motifs heard during the first few bars clearly depict that cool, airy, jazz feel to this piece. Inspiration from this piece came after hearing several flute players improvising on the flute on big band and Latin jazz charts.
The last movement tries to these low multi-phonic sonorities that depict the Centre Pompidou in France. I tried to capture an image of twirling those pipes around my head and producing this angelic, howling sound that even thought they produce a certain pitch, the perfection of that pitch is not really certain. The flute tone in this movement is illustrated by the various usage of multi phonics, especially during the breathing and further emphasized by the combination of singing and playing, resulting a difference in tones and buzzing. Long notated inhalations constantly alert the listener that even though the pipes of this magnificent contemporary structure are lifeless, sounds and sonorities are present when there is wind in the air, catching these sounds.
Contemporary art, architecture, paintings and ethereal sounds of the modern-day flute inspired the making of Catching the Sounds in the Air. The first movement points to the beautiful sonorities of the flute as it captures the low, haunting emulations of a “dark air". Suspensions of pitch, color and timbre deliberately unfold to draw the listener's attention to a specific sound. This composition employs serial techniques; however, serialism does not control the piece. Serialism is used as a sonic quality that is at some times emphasized and at others hidden from consciousness. As the subtitle of the second movement suggests, “cool air” is something that I want the player to imagine, like going to the beach and enjoying a cold beverage. This movement also depicts my love of modern jazz. The rhythms and melodic motifs heard during the first few bars echo the cool, airy, rhythms of a jazz rhythm section. The last movement emulates low multi-phonic sonorities from the Centre Pompidou in France. This is illustrated by the various usages of multi-phonics, the angelic howling sounds imitating the sounds of pipes, and the breathing and further emphasis of extended techniques. Long notated inhalations constantly remind the listener that even though the pipes of this magnificent contemporary structure are lifeless, sounds and sonorities are present when there is wind in the air, catching these sounds.
Soloist: Alfredo Muñoz