Arboreous Incantations: a recording project for three piccolos
Arboreous Incantations (for three piccolos) by Jane Rigler was commissioned by the Areon flute ensemble and will be recorded in July 2019 for her new album of original works, Whorl. This album features both traditional and open-holed (quarter-tone) piccolos which Rigler considers an untapped source of astonishing sounds. This proposal requests funding for the recording, mixing and mastering of the new work to be performed by this stellar Miyazawa Artist represented ensemble.
Inspired by Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose’s (1858-1937) scientific work on plants as well as other research related to how trees communicate, this composition pays homage to the various ways the piccolo (made of ebony and other woods and metals) vibrates. The work calls for a number of unusual techniques such as extremely fast double tonguing using a fluttery embouchure technique, and the plugging of the tube’s end with the right pinky to expand the piccolo range downward so that alternative tones emerge. In this work, the players hum and whistle, intone texts by Bose as well as utter parts of the ensemble’s own ancestral stories relating to trees and plants. The molecules of sounds knock about the inside of the tube, while a vacuum pressure technique is used to hold air in and then forced out by specific fingerings so that tiny, but spirited, bursts of sounds ricochet outward.
The score encourages several Deep Listening® processes that Rigler is developing in her unique notations. This work inspires creative, collaborative ensemble listening while exploring the colorings of this small tube in novel ways. The composer and the performers are excited to share the discoveries of these new sonic colorings on this small, but mighty, instrument that is magnified by three.
Composed during Rigler’s 2010 Japan-US Friendship Commission residency, this work attracted the attention of Areon Flutes who then commissioned her to create a work specifically for them. This acoustic piece for three piccolos is Rigler’s first investigation into composing for this unusual ensemble.
This work, for piccolo and live electronics, was performed as a structured improvisation in the Faux de Montagne, Creuse region in France during Rigler’s 2016 solo tour. Rigler’s research into the sound-spectrum that electronics provide deeply influences her development of the acoustic-world sound palette. This particular piece demonstrates her tireless curiosity of what the piccolo can achieve.
This is the studio recording of Areon Flutes performing Danny Clay’s “Broken Birds,” which they commissioned for their most recent album, “Thrive” on the Innova Recordings label. This performance shows the cohesiveness and brilliant colors this ensemble achieves.
Start and End Dates
07/16/2019 — 08/01/2020
San Francisco, California