Orpheus mirrors
Photo by Jan Gates. From Music on Main’s Orpheus Project, 2014.
Composers! Composers! I’m teaming up with my old pals at Redshift Music Society: we’re putting out a Call for Scores for solo flute written by composers who live or originate from countries situated along the Pacific Rim. Selected works will be performed in Redshift’s 2016/17 season and then recorded for CD release on Redshift Records. Why do this? Because, more than anything else, I’m really curious to see what’s out there. Why Pacific Rim countries? That’s a good question. So many aspects of my life are “Pacific specific”: I’m half Australian, half Japanese, and I live on the West Coast of Canada; Vancouver is a nexus of Asian, Australasian, North, Central, and South American cultures. And while contemporary art music is very Eurocentric thing to specialize in, much of what I do is informed by a heritage that is rather non-European — and this seemed like a cool way to make connections with emerging and established composers who I might (or might not) think along these same lines. All submissions can be sent to redshift.flute@gmail.com. The Official Call is below. Please share widely!

 

Call for Scores: Solo flute
Submission Deadline: August 30th, 2016
Send submissions to: redshift.flute@gmail.com

Redshift Music Society is seeking scores for solo flute (C concert flute, piccolo, alto flute, and bass flute) for a 2016/17 season performance event in Vancouver, Canada, by flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor. For this event we are specifically requesting works by composers who live in or originate from countries situated along the Pacific Rim: submissions from Canada, United States of America, Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, East Timor, Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and all Oceanian countries will all be considered. There is no restriction regarding age, race, or gender.

Other considerations:

Available instrumentation: solo C concert flute; alto flute in G; bass flute in C; or piccolo in C. Pieces involving electronics or tape cannot be accepted at this time;

Scores must be submitted in PDF format. Do not send hard copies;

Scores must be written in traditional western notation, or provide very clear explanations, in English, of any non-standard notation;

Works that include extended techniques, microtonal writing, and/or alternative tuning systems are welcome;

For solo flute works containing vocal writing: please note that vocal effects and singing should accommodate a tenor/baritone voice range. Text in non-western languages should be written using either western alphabet (preferable) or International Phonetic Alphabet;

Composers may submit multiple works, provided all submitted works are for solo flute;

Duration: each submitted piece not to exceed 15 minutes;

There is no age limit;

By submitting your work(s), you consent to having it (them) performed and recorded.

With your submission, please include your name, one paragraph biography (in English, if available), website link (if available), and country of origin/residence. All submissions must be sent by email to redshift.flute@gmail.com. Deadline for submissions is August 30th, 2016.

About the project

Redshift Music Society is working with Canadian flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor to create a performance project that explores new and recent contemporary works for solo flute by composers who live in or originate from Pacific Rim countries. McGregor, a Pacific Rim hybrid himself (a Canadian/Australian citizen based in Vancouver, the product of Japanese and Australian parents), has spent much of his recent career exploring western art music through a non-European lens. This project is an opportunity to connect international composers, explore and celebrate commonalities/differences, and to create professional bonds that may lead to future collaboration.

Selected works will be performed by McGregor in Vancouver during the 2016/2017 concert season. Depending on the number of submissions, there is a possibility for multiple concerts in order to include as many works as possible. Following the performance, these works will be recorded for release on the Redshift Record label (approximate release date: 2018). Selections will be made by McGregor and a panel of professional composers and specialists. All decisions are final.

To learn more about Mark Takeshi McGregor, click HERE.

To learn more about Redshift Music Society, click HERE.

To learn more about Redshift Records, click HERE.

 

I’ve known Michael Oesterle way longer than I’ve known his music: we were students together at the University of British Columbia back in the 90s. I knew him primarily as a violin player in the orchestra (and once, he even played mandolin for a performance of Respighi’s Roman Festivals). It would be many years later when I got to know Michael the composer, primarily through my work with the Aventa EnsembleUrban Canticle, territio verbalis, and tell tales (the latter two pieces written especially for Aventa) are all beautiful, colourful, and deftly wrought ensemble pieces. But it wasn’t until I heard Stand Still — his solo violin piece that he wrote in 2011 for Aisslinn Nosky — when I realized that here was a composer who understood the complexities and subtleties of writing for an unaccompanied instrument; who could reference the instrument’s incredibly rich history of both hedonistic folk music and 18th century polyphony, all the while cunningly maintaining his own unique voice. I cautiously approached him to ask if he’d consider writing a piece for solo flute… and after much scheming and generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Delilah was born in September of 2014.

Delilah was inspired, like many of Oesterle’s works, by the British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, marathon runner, and persecuted homosexual Alan Turing (1912-1954). In 2012, Turing’s 1944 reports on his “speech system” Delilah, were finally pulled from the British National Archives and opened to the public. This functional machine, designed to scramble and descramble voice messages, was so far ahead of its time that it resembles the way we currently store music in digital format. The musical construction of Delilah for solo flute was motivated by Turing’s unorthodox search for humanity or human intelligence within patterns and systems. It searches for answers to an unasked question, allowing this systematic approach to create subtle emotional shifts. Like Turing, it presents its puzzle playfully: in its persistence it becomes serious and then, as it begins to wallow in the process itself, lightens its mood again: a simple arc in a pattern of system, method, and discovery, its greatest motivation the joy of moving forward (from Oesterle’s programme notes).

A couple weeks ago I headed over to Jordan Noble‘s abode in North Vancouver and we spent the good part of the morning laying down a proper studio recording of Delilah. Thanks to Jordan’s editing skills and a bit of reverb you’d never know that this piece was recorded… in his bedroom. Delilah is joyful, mesmerizing, virtuosic, and bittersweet — and it’s a delight to be able to share it.