A Tour to Remember
I wanted to thank you all for your support and kind assistance of my recent brief tour of the US West coast. I felt honored and blessed to have inspired many students, faculty, and friends about the MAGIC of the the Low Flutes. These instruments have power, sensitivity, and pure grace when allowed the opportunity to shine. I (and the instruments) enjoyed the attention and interest you bestowed on us.
After 6 planes, 5 Major cities, and over 1,000+ miles of driving in less than two weeks, I would like to give you a summing up of my trip:
SAN DIEGO FLUTE FESTIVAL was a blast, with an opportunity to rehearse and perform with some of the finest flutist Southern CA has to offer. It was a pleasure meeting and working with Bradley Leighton, who inspired me to purchase the Hogenhuis Subcontrabass flute, from the images and sounds on his website. This man can swing and jive.......and if you have not heard his recordings, they are a must for your collection! Just google him and you find out more. Thanks Bradley and Donna. As a team (with flutist Rebecca Kleinmann and Marion Fredricson) we premiered two new low flutes quartets, which were fun to prepare and fascinating for the audience members to listen to. These unique quartets will find their way around the globe and are sure to make an impact on flute communities everywhere. Thanks Houston Dunleavy and Michael Rosiak for your compositional contributions. Also big thanks to the coordinators of the San Diego Flute Festival for their kind invitation to perform and share these instruments with all.
My very short visit to CAL-ARTS was quite special and these students have much to contribute to the world of sound. The lecture was only the introduction to the inspired closing section, where students of all disciplines (brass, piano, strings, etc.) stood in front of the lecture and performed a few creative 'conduction sessions.' YouTube videos to follow soon. Man those guys can shape, manipulate, and inspire sounds for sure. Thank you to my colleague Rachael Rudich for the kind invitation, and to Vinny Golia for assisting in the conduction sessions. Also to my duo partner Marion Fredricson for performing Adrienne Albert's "Three for Two," as our intro piece. These small gems give the instruments a real chance to sing and expressive themselves.
On to CAL STATE UNIVERSITY in FRESNO, where Teresa Beaman's studio had several students eager to hear and play these instruments. The studio owns one of the earlier Hogenhuis Contrabass models, which makes a strong rich tone, when played at full bore. Keep up the good work Cindy! Their growing Flute Ensemble was pleasure to listen to and I enjoyed hearing the students prepare works for their final recitals. Nicole Modell was the young lady responsible for my invitation, so a warm and sincere thank you to her.
A quick visit to CAL STATE UNIVERSITY-NORTHRIDGE had me chatting to a group of composer interested in the sounds and power of the big Flutes. Head of Composition, Liviu Marinescu was warm and welcoming and inspired many interesting questions about the possibilities of these instruments. Thanks to composer, Emeritus Professor, and flutist Daniel Kessner for the kind invitation. That evening I was again on my old stomping ground at UCLA. I was joined by the beautiful and talented Marion Fredricson on Contrabass flute, and we gave the UCLA premiere of "Three for Two" by the Award winning composer Adrienne Albert. These works should be published shortly, and if you have an interest in Low Flutes music, these again are a must. Arranged for one player on Alto/Bass and the other player on Contrabass flute, these delightful yet profound pieces are a real gems to our ever growing repertoire. Thanks Adrienne for your talent and time. Sheridon Stokes, Flute Professor at UCLA asked several students to play their recital pieces and one young man, stood up and played "Below." I was so honoured to hear a work that was brand new only two years ago, find it's way into the repertoire already. What a treat. UCLA and especially Sheridon have given me many fine opportunities, and I thank them for their support.
After a short trip (2 full days) to visit my wonderful Mother and family in NYC, I was back on the West coast again, this time up north.
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY has a motivating Music department, with many excellent faculty members, especially their head of Woodwinds, Barbara Heilmair. I was invited by the Instrumental Music Club, and gave two lecture demonstrations and an evening recital. My visit was warm and welcoming, and I hope to return in 2012. I must thank my fellow chamber music colleagues, Ray McKean-accompanist, who played with great beauty and sensitivity on such short notice, you are a champ! And to flute professor Sydney Carlson, who performed a set of new Duos for Piccolo and Sub-Contrabass flute by Houston Dunleavy. This was really a fun moment, trying to inspire the hugh 12 foot pipe of the Subcontrabass flute to play and imitate a piccolo.......and there's something for the books. Thank you Barbara and all the PSU staff and faculty for such a fine trip. I hope these instruments will continue to inspire, awe, and entertain for many, many years to come.
The ever growing interest in these flutes is truly astounding, and hope more folks around the world will find their own way to the beautiful and enriching timbres if the Low Flutes.
I had a 10 hour lay over in Los Angeles, so I hopped into a cab and visited the famous Getty Museum off the 405 in Sepulveda Pass. What a treat, seeing and feeling this building.
I reckon it is one of the most beautiful buildings ever constructed for sure. I jumped on a plane at midnight, hit hard turbulence about halfway across the Pacific Ocean (always around Christmas Island), thanked GOD for my wonderful trip and was back teaching on Monday. Life is good.