Maggi Payne

The Extended Flute

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The talented composer and flutist, Maggi Payne, offers eight fascinating contemporary works for the flute, several with electronics. Payne's original Hum (1973), for seven flutes, made use of the inherent electronic hum in the multi-track recorder plus humming through the flute itself. In this version, the recorder hum is gone. We hear amassed breath sounds, microtonal clusters, multiple trills, sliding tones, and other mysterious and compelling sounds. The two parts of David Behrman's QSRL (1994) have the elegant and meditative qualities of Behrman's style but also a gentle humor. The flute and computer electronics are interactive in real-time, creating a wonderfully rich situation with exquisite textures. Poempiece I: whitegold blue (1967), by William Brooks, is built from short fragments of text and many inventive musical effects organized on a chart, together with improvisational passages. Payne's Aeolian Confluence (1993), using flute samples and live flute overdubs, "deals with spatial concerns," a vast landscape of roaring windstorms, of distant heavenly clusters, of low tones that finally scatter into wind. In Mark Trayle's Flaptics (1997), the movement of the lips as the flutist reads a text about Galileo causes changes in the attacks of the flute tones and also modulates electronics (via video camera and MIDI software). The effect is droll and fascinating. Roman Haubenstock-Ramati's Interpolation, mobile pour flûte (1,2 et 3) (1959) is recorded here in three overdubbed readings. The score is in a graph notation, which offers many pathways that intertwine and lead to new sound events. Payne's Inflections (1968), for solo flute, equates silence with space, making each sound "a 'precious' entity -- as if each is an irregular pearl in a string of pearls". The various effects, such as crossing glissandi which are sung and played at the same time, are truly different and startling.

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