Issues

Winners of The Flute View Young Artists Competition

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Blog, Featured, May 2017 | 0 comments

Winners of The Flute View Young Artists Competition

THE JUDGES:   Francesca Arnone   Jasmine Choi   Tara Helen O'Connor       CONTRATULATIONS TO ALL! Tara wrote:   After a lovely discussion via conference call from Korea-NY- Florida, the final results are....   THE WINNERS:   FIRST PLACE - AUDREY EMATA Altus Handmade Flutes 1st Prize $1,000   SECOND PLACE - BRIDGET PEI Wm. S. Haynes Co. 2nd Prize $500 (Videos have been deleted)   THIRD PLACE - JOANNA KIM 2t Flute Academy 3rd Prize $250   Our Winner for Audience Favorite is JENNIFER HUANG Galway Flute Academy including a Skype lesson with Sir James Galway, Audience Favorite Prize $250 (based on number of YouTube Video views)   View All the Contestants HERE   THANK YOU TO ALL OUR CONTESTANTS & THE JUDGES!...

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The Flute’s Mainstream Moment. By Mara Miller and Justine Stephens

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Articles, Blog, Essays, Featured, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

The Flute’s Mainstream Moment. By Mara Miller and Justine Stephens

As one of the oldest wind instruments, the flute is a staple in Eastern music, classical music, and jazz due in no small part to its versatility in tone and character. Even the presence of flute in modern popular music has become prevalent and widespread across genres. Typically hidden within orchestral or MIDI sounds, the "come up" of individual flute lines, riffs, and motifs is not something new, but highly used in today's world. Did the flute's mainstream culture visibility start with Will Farrell's jazz flute appearance as Ron Burgandy in the 2004 motion picture Anchorman? How about rock band Jethro Tull's 1972 tune Living in the Past? Ian Anderson's extended technique flute solo in the song caught listeners' attention. Did the use of a MIDI flute on Britney Spears' Criminal serve as ignition for 2017's flute-filled comeback? The saxophone similarly had a "mainstream" moment in 2013 with Jason Derulo's hit Talk Dirty. These appearances of the flute could have easily influenced songwriters to shift their focus to the flute years later. Nevertheless, all of these songs—amongst many others—bring us to the present. Drake, one of the most buzzed-about artists, opens his collab Portland alongside rappers Quavo and Travis Scott with what sounds like a pan flute riff. Most recently and most notably, rapper Future featured a simple four-bar flute solo (sampled from the 1976 musical Selma) in combination with a MIDI drum over the flow of his rap in Mask Off.   Mask Off became an instant hit, but of course it had its doubters. GQ's Miles Raymer asks "Why is Flute Rap having a moment right now?" He critiques the flute as "an incredibly wack instrument. Possibly the wackest", yet following up with its success via the #MaskOffChallenge, touting the flute as "one of the stickiest trends in hip-hop production." NPR's Brendan Frederick describes Mask Off as a "soulful 70's song being sampled, which is sort of a sound that you're not used to hearing in modern trap music. And then it really contrasts nicely with this sort of harder...more traditional trap drums that you're used to hearing. And that gives it sort of a throwback sound, but something that's still connected to modern hip-hop." Mask Off launched an online fandom of young flutists—and later, other instrumentalists—covering the solo. In accordance with any online viral video, this was then paired with a hashtag and became aptly known as the #MaskOffChallenge. At the time that we decided to pursue our 15 seconds of fame with the #MaskOffChallenge, there were already quite a few of the videos circulating the Internet. The best thing about this challenge, in our opinion, was the intersection between pop culture and using a classically rooted instrument to then blend the two mediums. We decided to create our challenge by means of the Acapella app, a collaborative and multi-frame video recorder and editor. Incorporating beatbox, flutebox, rap, and the infamous tune, we opted for a nine-frame video and shifted the key up a half step (on the actual song, the key is a semi-tone between D and Eb). Tagging and hashtagging away on our social media channels, six hours had barely passed before the artist Future himself featured our cover on his Facebook page. The video racked in over 3,500 likes, 155,000 views, over 300...

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Irina Stachinskaya: Artist Interview

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Featured, Interviews, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

Irina Stachinskaya: Artist Interview

Can you give us 5 career highlights? In my opinion, there are just three of them: a) To meet your teacher/mentor b) To work hard c) to be in the right place at the right time How about 3 pivotal moments that were essential to creating the artist like you've become? I started to perfom when I was 7. I played blockflute and my mom was my stage partner. It is very important to be free on the stage, not to be scared of it. When you started to perform at young age, it‘s much easier to come into the process. Do you teach? master classes?  What do you like best about teaching? One year ago a friend of mine, Nikolay Plotnikov, in collaboration with Ilya Dvoretsky, founded the first flute center in Russia - The Magic Flute Center of Moscow. This is a truly magic place in a busy, speedy city. You can come here any time to play, to teach, to meet friends, to drink wonderful green tea, and, of course, to keep up your instrument in great condition. I hold orchestra master classes in the center and it’s like my studio, and the main joy in teaching is to observe an improvement of each person. What do you like best about performing? I love the contact between yourself and the audience. That moment when your musical thoughts find a response in other people’s hearts. When you've worked hard, it is very important to keep all musical ideas right to the stage. CD releases? In collaboration with fantastic musician, my mentor Phillip Moll we recorded the “Russian Dreams” album. It was released on the world famous Russian label “Melodia” a year ago. On this CD you will find Sonatas by Prokofiev, Taktakishvili, Denisov and Samonov and the small sparkling virtuoso piece written by soviet flutist Vladimir Tsybin. What does your schedule look like for the next 6 months? I have several invitations to festivals in Europe and in Russia. I am very happy to be invited again to Sir James Galway Festival in Weggis (Switzerland) this year. What are your goals personally?  Professionally? My dream to begin driving a car has just come true. Other principal aims are to speak fluent English and French, and to ride a bike! My professional aim is to achieve respect for the flute as a solo instrument – to rise it to the same concert level as violin, cello and piano. What inspires you the most in life? I try to find positive moments everywhere, whether it snows, or the sky is open and sunny or full of gray clouds. Sometimes books are inspiring to me. Sometimes it is also Facebook news that shows successful and happy faces of my dear friends. What can be more inspiring? What has been your greatest challenge? The most difficult thing, a challenge, is to change some negative opinions about you in society. When I was 17, I won a position to the Moscow Phil. My colleagues were not happy to welcome a 17-year-old person in the woodwind section. Another problem was that conductor really liked my playing. That period was very difficult to me. But quite soon relations between section members and me started to get better. Now we are very good friends. Who were your...

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Balancing Entrepreneurship and Artist Self. By Barbara Siesel

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Entrepreneurship, Featured, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

Balancing Entrepreneurship and Artist Self.  By Barbara Siesel

One of the most difficult parts about being a musician entrepreneur is the balancing act that one has to engage in. How do you continue to develop as an artist when your days are filled with meetings and administrative duties? How do you continue to find artistic inspiration, the flow of practice when you’re active in a different part of your brain (or at least that’s how it feels)! This is a continual challenge for many creative people and certainly for me. When I’m busy with business, I try and make sure that I practice first, before I start to answer emails, make phone calls or attend meetings. I set aside the first few hours of the day and sometimes if I’m lucky during my practice, a miracle occurs. The very act of practicing, the physical exercise, listening to sounds, concentrating and breathing makes my mind more creative. Not just my artistic self but my entrepreneurial self as well. My ideas become clearer, spiritual connections are made, and I generally become more awake! The muse comes to visit when I practice; just the very act of playing flute wakes the muse up and convinces her to give me ideas: musical, creative and business ideas. If I take a little break I make sure to write all these new ideas down; they are jewels from the creative muse!! But let’s leave this discussion of the “muse” and be practical. How can I schedule myself? How can I squeeze in practice and music making on busy entrepreneurial days? I recently asked Lady Jeanne Galway how does she handle this problem? Sir James suggested to her that when she has 10 minutes she should just play for those 10 minutes!! So, on incredibly busy days you might consider taking the flute out for even 5 minutes!!! I’ve heard rumor that flutist Greg Patillo leaves several flutes put together around his home and picks them up to play whenever inspired. I’ve recently tried the 5 and 10 minute approach and find that it gives me peace of mind on busy days- I’m still in touch with my flute, music and artistry and I become more able to focus on the task at hand. Practicing can even feel like a mini meditation. So to summarize, try and practice first if possible and add a few 10 minute flute breaks during your day. If you miss that morning session then try a few 5 and 10 minute flute breaks. You really never know when that musical or technical insight will show up, maybe in that exciting and fresh 10 minutes that you managed...

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Optimal Musical Communication. by Catherine Ramirez

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

Optimal Musical Communication.  by Catherine Ramirez

  This article first appeared in the winter 2014 issue of The Flutist Quarterly, the member magazine of the National Flute Association, and is reprinted with permission. nfaonline.org. THE VALUE OF OPTIMAL COMMUNICATION A master musician can captivate an audience before ever playing a note. A subtle change of tone can entice distracted listeners into the music, and keep them there. Musicians have been known to enrapture a crowd in such a way that these listeners still remember a particular performance decades later. While the ability of great soloists to capture and sustain the attention of an audience has intrigued me for many years, the motivation to research the topic of optimal communication resulted from negative experiences at concerts which left me feeling dull and tired, rather than alive and fulfilled. Musicians have an outstanding responsibility. With their power to harness and direct audience emotions, to heal and soothe the psyche, and even to alter states of being through music, great performers have ample opportunity to draw audiences in, simply through an improved experience of the music itself. This article focuses on the soloist’s path to direct musical communication and aims to supply useful information for the aspiring soloist and advanced or professional level flutist. Studying successful soloists and, from their perspective, their own abilities to engage with audiences, reveals what artists’ define as optimal communication and clarifies what it is that effective performers go through, work on, and do in preparation and in performance in order to make meaningful connections with an audience. Giving world-class performing musicians a voice – using their actual words to describe what they think and how they feel, especially during optimal performances – may provide greater insight into the most profound benefits of music and its significant power and importance in all human cultures. OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE The idea of “optimal performance” can be linked to that of “optimal experience” as generalized by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, as follows: Optimal experiences are situations in which attention can be freely invested  to achieve a person’s goals, because there is no disorder to straighten out,  no threat for the self to defend against….[They are often referred to as] flow experiences.1 Other authors have simplified the definition of “flow” to refer to experiences in which one’s “skills are fully preoccupied with a task.”2 In other words, rather than making a casual effort, a performer experiencing flow uses high degrees of intention, commitment, and intensity at every level of study, rehearsal, and delivery. Such powerful processes help musicians eliminate (or at least significantly reduce) the psychological and physical barriers between themselves and the audience. It’s this direct connection that allows performers to musically communicate with other musicians and the audience so that everyone is not only engaged, but also taken by the performance into a musical realm of existence often accompanied by a sense of timelessness, and an acute awareness of the personally significant meaning of the moment. CONNECTION When touched by a meaningful moment, what does that ‘connection’ feel like? This research formally recognizes 38 nationally and internationally known flute soloists who participated in this study by making available their personal descriptions about the most meaningful musical connections they have experienced with audiences. Describing that connection, they used the following words: an invisible relationship, strong tie, connection of energy, reaching out, drawing...

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Ma Bo: Artist Interview

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Featured, Interviews, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

Ma Bo: Artist Interview

Professor Ma Bo is the Associate Professor and a tutor for graduates at Conservatory School of Northwest University for Nationalities; the head of computer music lab of NorthWest University for Nationalities; Director of the China Flute Federation; Vice Chairman & Executive Director of Flute Art Committee of Gansu Province; Director of Wind Instrument Association of Gansu Province. B: What do you like best about performing? And about teaching? M: In my performing, I really enjoy expressing my true emotions and feelings through the very special language of music. In my teaching, when students' performing technique and ideas are improved or enriched through my instruction, I feel most satisfied and excited. On the other hand, I am often inspired and enlightened by my students' learning from my teaching and performing, which is also really exciting to me. B: What are your goals professionally? Personally? M: To be a flute teacher, I always try my best and encourage myself to be the one with great passions, a strong sense of responsibility, advanced educational ideas, effective teaching methods, solid professional technique, and care for my students. B: What inspires you most about teaching? M: That my teaching works! I suppose my students' passions, efforts and improvements that they have or make on what they are learning in flute playing, this inspires me the most. What's more, I often learn a lot through communication with my students, and their suggestions and advise on my teaching. B: Who were your teachers? Your mentors? M: He Shengqi, a well known flutist and a flute educator in China, a professor at Shanghai Conservatory School. B: Where did you study? The Department of Western Instruments, Shanghai Conservatory School, China B: Tell us about your upcoming performances or plans. M: I am planning to organize a flute band, and I hope each of my students will be a member of this band, which will be helpful for them in improving their playing techniques and performing ideas. B: Tell us about your favorite performance. M: Emmanuel Pahud is my favorite flute performer! B: What advice would you offer young flutists? M: Strong determination and persistence are the key for every young flutist, whenever faced with difficulties and setbacks in this process, you can definitely find the solutions to any problem as long as you are learning. If you give up, then there is no chance to find any solution. Never surrender and never give up! This is what I most want to say to them. B: Tell us one dream that you have for your life. M: I hope, one day, I may have enough money and enough time to travel around the world with my family. B: Tell us about something non-musical that you like to do most. M: I like running in my spare time, which is not only good for my health but also a good time to reflect on...

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The Flute Fingering Chart Guide by Music Stand: Review

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Featured, Issues, May 2017, New Products, Reviews | 0 comments

The Flute Fingering Chart Guide by Music Stand: Review

This is a basic site, best viewed on a smartphone (there is also an app), that shows fingering position for each note.  There is a sliding tool graphic that illustrates each position by blackening the appropriate keys, and allows you to see the differences between various notes as to the fingering.  It also contains beginner-level instructions on everything from embouchure to trills.  However, while someone could in theory learn to play the flute from scratch using this tool, for those likely already able to play, the site and app offer links to other fingering charts and basic Youtube video resources.  The fingering chart slide tool will be helpful for beginners and intermediates who need to readily see where to put their fingers, and is a nice tool for teachers to illustrate fingering rather than continually showing the student with their fingers. The Fingercharts app is a wonderful tool to help learn flute fingerings....

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The Embodied Musician by Niall O’Rourdin: Review

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Book Reviews, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, Lifestyle, May 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

The Embodied Musician by Niall O’Rourdin: Review

This is a series of audio instructions for how to position one's body and pieces thereof in order to be mindful of how the various relationships affect you, including creating tension or stress, using the Feldenkrais method, which is described as "an educational method focusing on self-awareness and learning involving gentle movements which can bring about improved coordination and enhanced functioning."  It begins with "The Primary Movements of the Jaw," for example, and directs you to perform various actions and to think about what you are sensing.  The fact that the program is audio and does not include video is an advantage in some ways; one tends to focus on the words more when there is nothing to look at.  You won't be listening to this while multitasking or driving to work; it requires concentration, and feels more like meditation guidance rather than lecturing. Focussing on what is going on in your own body, particularly as it affects your playing, can only be a good thing, and serious musicians should consider such instruction as a way to fine-tune their motions. If nothing else, it provides a new way to think about what is going on when you are playing and to notice things that you do automatically that you may want to change, in small ways as suggested.  Niall O'Riordan's Irish lilt and soothing, no pressure approach are also appealing aspects of the series.  Definitely, The Embodied Musician is a delightful and important enhancement to any flutist's training...

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On Playing Mother Goose. By Allison Fletcher

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Articles, Essays, Featured, Issues, May 2017 | 0 comments

On Playing Mother Goose.  By Allison Fletcher

An Historical and Stylistic Analysis of the Piccolo Solos in Ravel’s Ma mère l’oye (1911), III. “Laideronnette, Impératrice des pagodes Adapted from Fletcher, Allison Marie Flores. “Ten Orchestral Excerpts for Piccolo: An Historical and Stylistic Analysis.” DMA Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2008.   Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) composed the nursery tale suite Ma mère l’oye in 1908 to entertain the children of his friends Ida and Cipa Godebski. The family spent their summers at a house called La Grangette, or the Little Barn, which was where Ravel wrote the piano pieces while on a visit. Ravel was devoted to the Godebski children, Jean and Mimie, and used to bring them toys and romp about with them. When the publisher Jacques Durand came to visit Ravel and the Godebskis, the composer had the girls play for Durand a little duet piece he had written for them. The publisher was intrigued by the performance and asked Ravel to further expand the idea. Ravel completed the set of four pieces for piano four-hands and dedicated them to Jean and Mimie, although Mimie was too terrified to perform in public. Two different little girls, Jeanne Leleu (age 6) and Geneviève Durony (age 10), performed the premiere on 20 April 1910 at the Salle Gaveau. Ravel orchestrated and expanded the work into a ballet score in 1911, and Gabriel Grovlez conducted the premiere of the ballet version in January 1912 at the Paris Théâtre des Arts. The ballet version was published in the same month as the premiere in an edition of one hundred sets of the full score. The concert version, or suite, from the ballet contains the original five piano pieces. Ravel arranged the five pieces, or tableaux, which make up the piano and orchestral suite versions of Ma mère l’oye to form a large arch with slow first and last movements, moderate second and fourth movements, and a fast middle movement. The source for “Laideronnette, Impératrice des pagodes” is the story Serpentin Vert (Green Dragon) by Marie-Catherine Baronne d’Aulnoy (c. 1650-1705). D’Aulnoy’s nursery tale Serpentin Vert chronicles the adventures and misfortunes of Laideronnette, or Little Ugly, a princess who was made quite unattractive by a wicked fairy. Laideronnette sailed accidentally to a far-away enchanted palace where she fell in love with the king, who had been transformed into a green dragon by the same evil fairy. In the scene Ravel chose to set to music, Laideronnette is entertained by tiny enchanted toy figurines. The text from Serpentin Vert printed in the score may be translated to English as follows: She undressed and got into the bath. Immediately the toy mandarins and mandarinesses began to sing and to play instruments. Some had theorbos made from walnut shells; some had viols made from almond shells; for the instruments had to be of a size appropriate to their own. It is well-documented that Ravel was fascinated with fairy tales, mechanical trinkets, and toys, and could be described as having retained child-like wonder for the world. He was known for collecting small ornaments and ships in glass bottles, and had a room in his home decorated as a salon chinoise, as artificial exoticism was the fashion in fin de siècle France. Though many in the West had been intrigued by Asian culture throughout...

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Black Cedar: Album Review

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in CD Reviews, Featured, Issues, May 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

Black Cedar: Album Review

Black Cedar, which comprises flute, guitar, and cello, offers a variety of attractive chamber works for this particular instrumentation. Bookended by works commissioned by the trio, the four pieces presented each offer something different. Miscellaneous Music by Durwynne Hsieh (b. 1963) offers some truly beautiful, soaring melodies, especially in the first movement. Nathan Kolosko’s Hungarian Trio features traditional Hungarian melodies and traditional Hungarian dance steps. These modern instruments mimic their Hungarian counterparts. The flute in particular is supposed to mirror the Hungarian shepherd’s flute, which is similar to a renaissance recorder, being end-blown with a fipple mouthpiece. Debussyana, which is a movement from a larger work by Klaus Hinrich Stahmer, was inspired by a poem cycle by Gerhard Vescovi. Audible are samples from Debussy’s L’après-midi d’un faune. Finally, Garrett Shatzer’s Of Emblems closes out the album with quiet introspection. The third movement in particular opens with a moody flute solo, which is quickly joined by guitar. Their entwined duet is eventually joined by cello to complete the trio. Overall, I find the overall timbral combinations to be quite pleasant. The flute sound really blends with the warmth of the guitar and cello. Occasionally the flute color rises above the ensemble as it approaches the upper reaches of its range. While there is limited repertoire for this combination of instruments, it is a repertoire worth developing. Learn more about Black Cedar at www.blackcedar.biz. A Path Less Trod That Other Label Black Cedar Kris Palmer, flute Steven Lin, guitar Nancy Kim, cello Miscellaneous Music (2015) – Durwynne Hsieh (b. 1963) I. Möbius Movement II. Introverted Interlude III. Five Fun Facts Hungarian Trio (2012) – Nathan Kolosko (b. 1975) I. Prelude II. Round Dance III. Ancient Melody IV. Spinning Dance Acht Nachtstücke (1983) – Klaus Hinrich Stahmer (b. 1941) Debussyana Of Emblems (2014) – Garrett Ian Shatzer (b. 1980) I. Andante II. Lento III....

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