To The Edge and Back
About this work:
My instrumental music is always challenging to perform. Nevertheless, I constantly seek to write music where the challenges are justified by the musical result; I want performers to find the experience rewarding and. in the end, fun. It is, perhaps, easiest for me to gauge how well I have succeeded in this goal with music for my own instrument, the flute. I have always written flute music with the idea that I will have to perform it myself. Not including many pieces of juvenilia, my pieces for flute now include, Antichambers and Falling Forward (1979-80), two short solo pieces that incorporate extended techniques; Returning to the Point (1982), a flute quartet (flute, vln, vla,vc); and Over the Edge (1986) for flute and tape (which is published by McGinnis & Marx and has been recorded by Patricia Spenser).
When the directors of the Pappoutsakis Flute Competition (in memory of eminent flutist James Pappoutsakis) asked me to write a piece for the finals of the 1997-98 competition, I was very pleased. The result, To the Edge and Back, draws very deliberately, but without quotation, from the literature that we flutists all study and love to play. The opening has an unmistakable reference to Bach. My other conscious influence was jazz. The first few bars sound as much like a be-bop tune as anything, before blending into a brief baroque-like passage, at first in A minor.
Year composed: 1997
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Other Combinations, 2-5 players
Instrumentation: 1 Flute, 1 Piano