flute solo (2012)
Performed by Zoe Cagan:
Performed by Laurel Zucker:
Performed by the composer:
Duration: 4 minutes
August 18th, 2014
Performed by the composer in a private house concert in Lima, Peru
About the work
The flute, in the Western musical tradition, is an instrument rich in symbolism. What images or ideas are commonly associated with its sound?
If the flute were an actor, ready to play a particular character, which one might it be? Do certain stereotypes exist?
Perhaps its most well-known role is to paraphrase a certain member of the animal kingdom. Many composers throughout the centuries, from Vivaldi to Prokofiev, have coincided in granting the flute this role, so notorious within popular culture: to evoke the cheerful little bird, perky and light-footed, nonchalant and agile in its song.
Although likeable, this role is by now a clicheé, and falls acutely short of realizing the instrument´s full expressive possibilities. What would happen if, just to stay on topic, we decided to start exploring "other" birds through the flute?
The tuhuayo, a bird from the Peruvian jungle, is probably not your typical "flute" bird. It is about 12 inches in size. It flies only to catch its prey, and is otherwise very fond of the ground; so much, that it also lays its eggs there, without making a nest.
The tuhuayo is a nocturnal bird, resting during the day, and singing throughout the night.