It was so wonderful to be at the Raleigh Area Flute Association Flute Fair this year to play at the Artist Competition again–and to make new flute friends. What an encouraging surprise and honor, to win this time around! The RAFA board members were all so kind and the jury’s feedback was helpful. I so look forward to coming back to perform at the 2018 RAFA Flute Fair!
October 31, 2017 was a special day, for many reasons. An orchestra flashmob project I’ve been working on came to fruition: five performances of the finale of Mendelssohn’s “Reformation” Symphony no. 5 at five locations in Greensboro, NC, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. (That’s a lot of fives!) David Holley, Artistic Director of Greensboro Opera and UNCG professor, graciously agreed to conduct. I am deeply indebted to him and to the musicians who volunteered to play with us!
A video is forthcoming!
Yeah, I know. It’s only been about a week since my last Flute/light project post. This is an afterword full of acknowledgements: a brief post thanking all of my wonderful colleagues who made that project (and subsequent videos!) possible.
To the composers: I love your work, and I keep pinching myself because I can’t believe I’ve had the opportunity to work with you. It’s been such an honor! My deep thanks.
Anna Meadors, Kyle Rowan, Michael S. Rothkopf, Stuart Saunders Smith, Jacob Thiede
To my fellow performers: thank you for your enthusiastic participation and support!
Alicia Bachorik, Sarah Busman, Asher Carlson, Noah Cline, Lowell Fuchs, Sharneisha Joyner, Amy Karnes, Amanda Mitchell, Janine Naprud, Stephany Saunders, Erik Schmidt, Abigail Simoneau, Bethany Uhler, Hyunsu Yoon
To all who assisted with lighting: thank you for your patience and generous help!
Aaron Bobeck, Drake Calo, Norman Coats, Jason Czaja, Manuel Da Silva, Noah Davis, Alyssa Eibott, Clara Freeze, Chip Haas, Jonas Hess, Evan Higgins, Katie Martin, Lisa Renkel, Joshua Selander, Katherine Ward, Ken White, UNCG School of Theater, UNCSA School of Design and Production Lighting Department
Flute/light Project? Not sure what I’m talking about? Below are links to each video.
Flute/light Project Info Video
Anna Meadors, At Daybreak
Stuart Saunders Smith, The Circle of Light
Kyle Rowan, Komorebi
Michael S. Rothkopf, I Dream of Coloured Inks
Jacob Thiede, And everything in-between
I’m a doctor! Which means the end of my dissertation project adventure. Yes. This is my last flute/light video release—at least for now!
Flute/light video? What does that mean? Let me get you up to speed.
Here’s a video I made explaining my flute/light intermedia art project!
And below are links to four more flute/light videos:
Does all music have a narrative? Jacob Thiede’s piece And everything in-between investigates this question—and also the concept of unlistable infinity. The result: a palpable sense of excitement, mystery, and adventure. Does And everything in-between ever foil your expectations? Can you identify some of the many moods, sounds, and colors it explores? Feel free to comment with your thoughts below!
And everything in-between was recorded on December 3, 2016 in Brown Theatre at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Wayne Reich and Ben Singer created the cinematic video. Lowell Fuchs helped me with sound; and Asher Carlson and Abigail Simoneau served as grips. I will never be able to fully express my thanks to all who contributed to this video—and to all who helped make my flute/light project possible!
This has been an incredible journey. My thanks also to all who have taken the time to watch these videos and join me in their celebration!
For more about And everything in-between (and some beautiful photos), check out Wayne’s blog, here.
New experiences can be something of a revelation, can’t they? The first time I ever tried zhajiangmian, it became a comfort food—and I crave it on and off ever since.
What does food from northern China have to do with music? The analogy’s a bit of a stretch, but Dr. Michael S. Rothkopf’s I Dream of Coloured Inks for Two Flutes and Computer (flute/light video 4) was the primary catalyst for my flute/light project. The enveloping, dynamic light in the piece whet my appetite for more!
Flute and light? Video 4? What am I talking about? Here: I’ll catch you up in a jiffy.
Check out the video I made about my flute/light intermedia art project!
And below are links to the first three flute/light videos:
Three years ago, in 2014, I published a blog post about I Dream of Coloured Inks’ world premiere. Way back then, I promised an I Dream of Coloured Inks video—and here it is!
Dr. Rothkopf’s piece is an improvisation for two flutes, lights, and computer. The computer listens to various aspects of the flutists’ sound—things like pitch, articulation, timbre, and dynamic—and responds both visually and sonically based on a series of probability tables in the Coloured Inks’ Max program. It’s an exciting exploration in sonic and visual color!
The piece was recorded on January 22, 2017, in Crawford Hall at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I was assisted by the lovely flutist Sarah Busman, as well as the audio and visual dynamic duo Ben Singer and Wayne Rich. I am deeply thankful for the generous help of all who contributed to this video—including the UNCSA Design and Production lighting department.
See Wayne’s lovely I Dream of Coloured Inks blog post for his thoughts and pictures!
“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike” (John Muir, from The Yosemite).
Often, I find myself yearning for mountains and trees somewhere, anywhere. There’s something wonderfully restorative about out-of-the-way places—and the time it takes to enjoy them. Imagine you’re in a forest. Maybe you’re sitting on its pine-needle floor or blazing a trail. Either way, picture afternoon sunlight being filtered by trees around you. There’s a warm glow that shimmers through leaves and needles, vibrant like a live wire.
Dr. Kyle Rowan uses sound and light intermedia to capture this forest-light phenomenon in his composition Komorebi for solo flute and lighting, the third video in my flute and light project! The Japanese word Komorebi, roughly translated, means: sunlight filtering through leaves.
Okay—but wait. Flute and light project? Intermedia? Third video? What am I yakking about? Let me get you up to speed!
Here’s an info video I made about my flute/light intermedia art project!
And here are links to the first two cinematic videos:
Komorebi’s lighting concept features shifting shadows and colors that fade in and out puckishly. I’d say the music complements the lighting—but it more than complements it. Together, they are sprightly, caressing, shimmering, enveloping. Together.
Lighting technicians Katherine Ward and Abigail Simoneau manually controlled the lighting board faders in this video production. Wayne Reich and Ben Singer created the cinematic video. All recording was done on December 3, 2016 in UNCG’s Brown Building Theatre. My heartfelt thanks to all who helped me make this video—including those who took the time to teach me a thing or two about lighting boards!
Wayne published a post about Komorebi on his blog. Check it out for a glimpse into his perspective as videographer and some great pictures of the editing process!
Video numero II id est. I decided to release my flute/light cinematic videos in the order of my premiere concert in September 2016. That brings us to Stuart Saunders Smith’s The Circle of Light: A Ceremony for solo flute and eight lumanists.
Flute and light? Video No. 2? Not sure what I’m talking about? No worries! I’ll catch you up in a jiffy.
Check out the info video I made about my flute/light intermedia art project!
And here’s the link to the first cinematic video (Anna Meadors’ At Daybreak), along with some more background information.
The Circle of Light is a 17 minute piece performed in almost complete darkness, with slowly changing lighting and repetitive musical material. The result is a lyrical, meditative atmosphere. And people—the flutist, lumanists (flashlightists), audience, and composer—are united through the experience of this atmosphere.
Still with me? For a second, forget that you have photos to post to Instagram, calls to return, or a Tumblr feed to update. Take a moment to appreciate your surroundings. Is there a clock ticking in the distance? Maybe you can smell coffee or feel the warmth of the sun. That’s what I mean by atmosphere. Perhaps you tell someone, “Wow, that coffee smells nice!” And then, that someone takes notice of it. You are united in your mutual awareness of the aroma. It’s possible you are even united in your mutual enjoyment of it!
Because this unifying awareness of atmosphere is essential to The Circle of Light, I think it’s best to experience the piece live. That being said, the audio and visual team Ben Singer and Wayne Reich, along with my lumanist performers (Bethany Uhler, Noah Cline, Janine Neprud, Stephany Saunders, Erik Schmidt, Amy Karnes, Asher Carlson, and Abigail Simoneau), all did an incredible job helping me create this cinematic video and contemplative atmosphere! The Circle of Light was recorded in Brown Building Theatre at the University of North Carolina Greensboro on December 3, 2016. I was assisted by lighting technician Katherine Ward.
Since darkness is so important to Dr. Smith’s piece, try watching with your lights off!
Wayne has published a thoughtful blog post about this transcendental work on his website. Check it out here.