Sound & Repercussion
|1||Impromptu for unaccompanied alto flute (1984)||7:55||$1.99|
|2||Voice for solo flutist (1971)||5:22||$0.99|
|3||Debla for flute solo (1980)||12:08||$2.49|
|4||Hymntunes IV: Imenetuki, Gospel Chant from the Cook Islands (for solo bass flute) (1995; rev. 1998)||6:13||$0.99|
|5||Vihaya for alto flute solo (1992)||5:44||$0.99|
|6||Folk Song for solo flute (1987)||9:36||$1.99|
|7||Salomo for alto flute (1977/78)||6:32||$0.99|
Full Album Includes ALC Version
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Linda’s desire to expand her range of aesthetic awareness led her to accept an invitation to tour extensively as a “cultural ambassador” under the auspices of the United States Information Service. That 10 year adventure took her to Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (her performances there the first ever by a woman!), the Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bosnia (giving recitals there right at the start of its war), Macedonia, India, and Pakistan. Throughout this period, she interacted extensively with local musicians: classical and indigenous performers as well as composers. She was co-founder of the Festival of Contemporary Music in Ankara and Istanbul, while a guest of the Turkish government from 1987-91. There she worked in collaboration with Turkish, Russian, and Middle Eastern composers, and lectured at Bosphorus University as well as Middle Eastern Technical University as Professor of global and contemporary music. When the Gulf War broke out, it became dangerous for Americans to remain in that part of the world, and an invitation from distinguished flutist and teacher Samuel Baron brought her back to the States, to do graduate work at SUNY Stony Brook and serve as teaching assistant.
A singular and unusual artist with a unique multicultural repertoire, Ms. Wetherill has been presenting her “Global Perspectives” concerts for the past decade, most auspiciously at the 1993 and 1999 National Flute Conventions and at the first Symposium of Women in Music (Los Angeles, 1995). She teaches on the faculties of Adelphi University, CUNY Staten Island, and SUNY Purchase.
When I recently spoke with Linda, she clarified that it is her goal to integrate into the palette of her “classical” flute, the sounds and unique timbres of the ethnic instruments she has discovered [e.g., the Native American flute, shakuhachi, kaval, & ney]. This integration goes beyond imitation of sound to include microtonal inflections, harmonics, multiphonics, and voice/ instrument interactions, with awareness and respect for the original expressive, cultural, and spiritual intent. Interviewed in The Flutist Quarterly (Fall, 1999), Ms. Wetherill remarked, “To hear all of the ethnic flutes, all of the possibilities for harmonics and emotive communication, has certainly expanded my conception beyond the pure, silvery flute sound for classical concertizing prevalent in this country.” With regard to this album, Linda explains “these compositions have been selected for their virtuosic synthesis of spiritual-traditional-iconic material with contemporary global syntax.
As you listen to this album, it will become clear that Linda Wetherill has not only enriched the instrument itself, but has also utilized her expanded resources to more deeply fulfill the communicative intent of composers. Her sympathetic understanding of the composers’ cultural backgrounds substantially enriches her interpretation and performance of their work.
Notes on the Pieces
The Impromptu for alto flute of Siegfried Matthus was composed in 1984 and shows the influence of his musical life in the theatre. He is primarily recognized as an opera composer, one whose sense of drama is marked by psychologically complex material, akin to his acknowledged primary influences: the Second Vienna School and Benjamin Britten. It is of particular interest how this aesthetic translates to a work for solo alto flute. Here we find a solo voice, a “character” if you will, commencing the work with three broad phrases ascending from the depths of the instrument’s range. The third culminates in a coloratura-like cadenza which subsides into a calm, “scene-painting” section marked by sustained harmonics and micro-tones, acknowledged by the composer to have, as source-material, thematic associations with the boudoir of Strauss’s “Salome”. The following rhythmic/dramatic outburst, to stretch the dramatic allusion, might be likened to an orchestral interlude, with the work then reprising the scene-painting and solo-voice sections to close. Siegfried Matthus was born in 1934 in East Prussia. He studied in Berlin from 1952-58, then with Hans Eisler at the East German Academy of the Arts from 1958-60, joining its faculty in 1969 and serving as its Music Director since 1972. He has been resident composer at the Berlin Comic Opera since 1964.Takemitsu’s 1971 Voice, in contrast to the linear-dramatic unfolding of ideas in the Matthus work, is invested in the moment and the listener’s involvement in its elegance, articulation and timbral exquisiteness. (Other parallel but essentially dissimilar attitudes toward time are to be found in Stockhausen’s “moment-form” and in Feldman’s “sound-erasing-sound” in which attention is focussed on the present.) Predominantly Asian in his aesthetic, Takemitsu looked for influence in composers who had already synthesized the influences of non-western cultures––Debussy, Webern, and Messaien––to create a bridge to the Western listener. The “voice” in question is not that of the flute or the flutist, but a hybrid sensitively integrated here by Ms. Wetherill into a sound-world curiously more spatial than temporal. Toru Takemitsu (1930-96) was born in Tokyo and was largely self-taught. He traveled extensively abroad, with a significant attachment to Paris, where he served as Music Director of the 1970 World Exposition. He was teaching there, along with Stravinsky and Stockhausen, at the time he composed Voice.
In Halffter’s own words Debla denotes one of the forms of the so-called Canto Grande. This is the purest manifestation of the Andalusian folk melody, a complex form of song, which is closest to the mysterious origins of the folklore of Southern Spain. Its salient characteristics are: a) it is sung completely unaccompanied b) it consists of extremely slow static sections followed by highly rhythmic and intense sections c) at the “climax” the singer beats out the rhythm by clapping, this serving as a contrast to the vocal line. d) The music makes use of quartertone intervals. I have included all of these features in the present work, although it was not my intention to imitate or reproduce the Debla. Rather, I have based my composition on certain aspects and characteristics of this form of Andalusian folksong while creating a work which exists in its own right and is conceived exclusively for the flute.” Debla for flute solo was written in spring of 1980 at the wish of Hans Werner Henze for the Montepulciano Festival. Cristobal Halffter was born in1930 in Madrid, studying there at the Royal Conservatory prior to advanced work at the Paris Conservatory. He taught at the Darmstadt summer sessions and was affiliated with Boulez’s IRCAM during the time when Linda Wetherill was in Paris. (She performed the premiere of this Double Concerto there under his super-vision.) Halffter is considered to be the leading Spanish avant-gardist of his generation.
Hymntunes IV: Imenetuki: Gospel Chant from the Cook Islands for solo bass flute (1995 Rev. 1998) is based on a simple two phrase chant found in the Cook Islands. This chant is actually a melody from the Hebrides called Eriskay Love Lilt, which was brought to the islands by missionaries and then incorporated into native repertoire. Fruehwald explains that “variations on this phrase appear throughout the piece; a responding phrase appears only near the end. Other material in the piece is based on drumming patterns from various islands in the South Pacific. These drumming patterns are generally started by certain rhythmic signals.” A dramatic work, from its tonguestops and key slaps used to imitate the sound of a log drum to the rapid swirls of multiphonics, Linda Wetherill gave its world premiere at U.S. National Flute Association’s Atlanta Convention in ‘99 for a rapt assembly of composers and players. Robert Fruehwald was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1959. He studied at the University of Louisville, California Institute of the Arts, and Washington University in St. Louis. He chairs electronic music and the music department at Southeast Missouri State University. A flutist, he has written numerous pieces for flute utilizing extended techniques and developing upon ethnomusicological research.
Vihaya for alto flute solo (1992) unfolds not unlike a sitarist’s initial unmetered exploration of a raga, prior to the entry of the tabla player. It’s title taken from Hindu mythology, Vihaya is an accumulation of a few pitches lined up to form building blocks, turning over and over in multidimensional space. This is music of stasis and intense minimalism, and Arnaoudov finds a wealth of beauty in his free exploration of this ‘raga’. Gheorghi Arnaoudov, born in 1957 in Sofia Bulgaria, graduated from the Vladigerov Academy there, continuing his studies in Italy and with Brian Ferneyhough. He is equally at home in vocal, instrumental, concrete and electronic music. He has researched extensively in the fields of ancient and Far-Eastern music. The roots of his personal style can be traced to Scriabin, Messiaen, Varese, Penderecki, and Part.
Reza Vali states “Most of my music is strongly influenced by Persian folk music, which I have been studying, collecting, and composing for the past 19 years. Folk Song (1987) is in a set of an ongoing cycle of Persian folk songs, which I have been writing since 1978. The pieces use the flute technique of simultaneous singing and playing explored in this work. I’m fascinated with the timbre of the Middle Eastern ‘Nay’ and in all of my flute pieces try to recreate this timbre of wooden (bamboo) flutes of Persian folk music. The musical materials of Folk Song are derived from Persian folk music and intermingled with the atonal syntax of Western music.” Critics have called his result “urgent, cogent and tautly dramatic, ranging in mood from childlike simplicity to near terrifying force, with sensuous and beautiful sonorities––a highly successful blend of Western music with Vali’s native Persian.” Reza Vali was born in 1952 in Ghazvin, Iran. He began his music studies at the Conservatory of music in Tehran. In 1972, he went to Austria and studied music education and composition at the Academy of Music in Vienna. After graduation, he moved to the United States and continued his studies at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his Ph.D. in theory and composition in 1985. Mr. Vali currently directs the Computer-Electronic Music Studio at Carnegie Mellon University. He has been honored by the Austrian Ministry of Arts and Sciences, and in 1991 was selected by Pittsburgh bicultural Trust as Outstanding Emerging Artist for which he received their Creative Achievement Award.
The Asian and Western aspects of Isang Yun’s Salomo (1977-78) are so fully integrated that one can apply the term “global” with assurance. Regarding his Korean upbringing and Western musical training, Yun explains, “I don’t need to organize or separate elements of the cultures. I am a unity, a simple person. It’s a synthesis.” This flute work illustrates a strong individual characteristic of Yun’s music - that of organization around “principal sounds”. A single tone, alive in itself, like a brush stroke in Asian ink painting, breathes and fluctuates with embellishments, sliding pitches, and dynamic variations. What Westerners would consider a melody––a succession of tones at specific intervallic distances above or below each other––is in Yun’s aesthetic simply the expansion of the experience of a single note, upward and downward, forward and backward. Several “phrases” in Salomo are heard to approach such a tone and then depart from it; the challenge for the listener is to experience the entire phrase as a manifestation of the central tone itself. Isang Yun (1917-1995) was born at Tongyong in what is now South Korea. Trained in Japan, he taught in Korea from 1939 onward. Subsequent studies in Berlin with Boris Blacher and Josef Rufer, courses attended at Darmstadt and a Ford Foundation Grant established his relationship with Germany, where he thereafter resided until his death.
Thanks to West Center Church of Bronxville for their generous support and to U.S.I.S., American Music Center.
Produced By: Marc Wolf & Jeremy Tressler
Executive Producers: Jeremy Tressler & Marc Wolf
Recording & Engineering: Jeremy Tressler, Dreamflower Studio
Mastered by: Jeremy Tressler, Dreamflower Studio
Liner Notes: Marc Wolf
Design & Typography: Marc Wolf
Graphics Rendering: Michiyo Suzuki
Impromptu published by VEB Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig
Voice published by Editions Salabert, Paris
Debla published by Universal Edition Ltd., London.
Hymntune IV: Imenetuki is in the composer’s manuscript
Vihaya is in the composer’s manuscript
Folk Song published by MMB Music
Salomo published by Bote & Bock, Berlin
Recorded September-January 2000 at West Center Church, Bronxville, NY
Linda Wetherill • 38 W. 74th St. 3C • New York, NY 10023
Images are details of the painting Timgryte e Humbur (translated “Sound and Repercussion”) by Euvor Rahooka 1989, in the private collection of Linda Wetherill
This record is dedicated to my father who passed away Easter Eve 2000 –L. W.
© 2000 furious artisans
"She has chosen pieces by contemporary composers that combine elementsof folk music from various regions with modern European procedures,giving them a special flavor...Flutist Wetherill impresses as much byher musicianship-specifically a resistance to overemphasizing theexotic elements of these pieces- as by her technique and tonalresources. Well done." —Art Lange, Fanfare Magazine, Nov/Dec 2000