“When Flutes Spoke Words” @ Oregon Fringe Festival, Ashland OR

Flutist Tessa Brinckman presents her solo concert, which recently toured New Zealand as part of two academic residencies. The program unfolds the mysterious and virtuosic worlds between narrative and music, featuring flute, piccolo, alto, upright bass flute and electroacoustics, and weaving text between and inside micro-tonalities, lyricism and musical groove. (Go here for a fantastic interview with Eva Radich on Radio New Zealand’s Upbeat, which offers some background to the program).

New Zealand composer Martin Lodge’s Pan Dreaming pays homage to Debussy’s Syrinx on alto flute, alongside Tessa Brinckman’s prose poem Pan Visits Kokopelli in Arizona. Mouth Music was conceived by French microtonalist composer, Pascale Criton, in close collaboration with Tessa Brinckman performing on flute, where language and music intersect, through some language poetry of Bernard Requichot KRITI & A K.O.I BA. Tenderness of Cranes was inspired by a famous shakuhachi melody “Tsuru No Tsugomori”, and Shirish Korde oscillates his work between Japanese traditions and Western contemporary aesthetics for the flute, alongside An Ache by poet Angela Decker. In A Cracticus Fancie Tessa Brinckman embeds a recording of Denis Glover reading his famous poem “The Magpies” within source recordings and evocations of human and bird stories, with live piccolo. Feadóg mhór in oíche ghelai (Flute in a moonlit night) by Martin Lodge creates a haunting narrative with live bass flute, recorded alto flute, vocalisations and taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments), and will be read alongside Song of the Horseman (1860) by Federico Garcia Lorca. Hüzün Nar was inspired by Tessa Brinckman’s visit to modern and historic Istanbul, and is performed with live alto flute over a contemporary groove with electronic patches and manipulated flute recordings to give a sense of where Istanbul has been, and where it is going, alongside Tessa Brinckman’s short-short essay, Descent.