Nicole Chamberlain: Album Review

This album of works by composer/flutist Nicole Chamberlain is a well-executed introduction to this composer’s distinctive style. Performances by flutists Chamberlain, Mary Matthews, and Matthew Angelo and pianist Jessica Nilles are a fun collection and representation of Chamberlain’s works.

The music of Nicole Chamberlain is often programmatic. The multi-movement Three-Nine Linetells the story of flight; Chatter represents a spirited conversation; Smorgasbord explores a variety of food textures depicted by flute sounds. These and the other stories comprising the album means there is considerable variety and something for everyone. Chamberlain’s music also heavily utilizes extended techniques. Represented here include stomping, beat boxing, flutter tonguing, pizzicato tonguing, jet whistles, key clicks, pitch bends, and singing while playing to name a few. These effects play into the theme or story of each piece to sonically enhance its meaning.

The miniature Lilliputian for piccolo and music box is a charming short work. Chatter for two flutes is also enjoyable. The variety of instrumentation (all involving members of the flute family, of course) represented on this album means there are options and flexibility and it would be easy to find something to fit a wide range of programming needs. Since Chamberlain is a flutist, her writing is idiomatic for the instrument.

Overall, this is a fun, light album with solid performances by all involved. Chamberlain’s works are published by Spotted Rocket Publishing.

Learn more about the performers at www.nikkinotes.com, www.marymatthewsflute.com, and www.matthewjangeloflutist.com.

Three-Nine Line - Flute Music of Nicole Chamberlain
MSR Classics - MS 1671

Mary Matthews, flute , Nicole Chamberlain, flute 
Matthew Angelo, flute 
Jessica Nilles, piano
Three-Nine Line for flute and piano (2015) I. Flathatting
II. Deadstick
III. Trim

IV. Jink
Mintaka for three flutes (from Orion’s Belt) (2014)Lilliputian for piccolo and music box (2016)
In Cahoots for two flutes (2016)
Asphyxia for solo flute (2016)
Chatter for two flutes (2011)

Smorgasbord for solo flute and piccolo (2010) I. Crunchy
II. Gelatinous
III. Carbonated

IV. Fluffy
Percolate for three flutes (2015)

--Tammy Evans Yonce

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