Music for one player
A Shared Solitary (2022/2020) – Niloufar Nourbakhsh arr. by Tessa Brinckman
Alto flute + electronic media – 3″30
The original version for violin of “A Shared Solitary” was commissioned by the Library of Congress during the pandemic. Violinist Jannina Norpoth of PUBLIQuartet premiered the piece as part of the Library of Congress’ Boccaccio Project. Electronics (MAX patch) accompany the violin, a combination of live and fixed processing.
The composer writes that “…over the course of the piece, a delay line becomes less and less distant as the texture becomes fuller, culminating into a collective sound. A Shared Solitary attempts to resurface the fact that we are all going through this together all over the world even though we might not be able to physically see it.”
The alto flute and MAX version was suggested and arranged by flutist Tessa Brinckman. Composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh heard, and was entranced by, this new version, which still keeps the original fixed violin processing. The new version was premiered at the International Low Flutes Festival 2022, and the score is available via the contact form at www.niloufarnourbakhsh.com
A Cracticus Fancie (2017) – Tessa Brinckman
Amplified piccolo + fixed audio – 6″
A dark comedy and musical setting of the classic poem from New Zealand, Denis Glover’s “The Magpies”. Composed from the point of view of a magpie, Cracticus has the piccolo amplified as a percussive instrument, borrows from old Irish melodies and cracticus tibicen recordings, balancing out the intensity of the fixed audio, which includes a studio recording of Denis reading his work.
Hüzün Nar: The Gorgon Cycles (2012/2018) – Tessa Brinckman
Alto flute + fixed audio – 12″
The words “hüzün” and “nar” in the title – which mean “melancholy” and “fire” in Turkish and Arabic respectively – are a nod to Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk and his memoir of his beloved city, Istanbul, which I travelled to in 2011. The music was inspired by city-wide calls to prayer, Turkish TV shows, electronic dance music booming all night in the Old City, and later protests in Taksim Square. The score has room for improvisatory elements and moves rhythmically in cycles of 22. The fixed audio uses processed alto flute, prepared piano and electronic patches. Hüzün Nar is also the soundtrack for the animation film, The Gorgon Cycles (2023), and a score to is available to perform live with the animation.
The Gorgon Cycles was co-directed with animators Miles Inada and Devyn McConachie. It is a fever dream – an intricately layered animation invoking the return of long-banished visionary, Medusa. With a supporting cast of fish, snakes, dinosaurs, cat, monkey, magician, the film is statement of violent optimism – a contemplation of life amidst global catastrophe.
Blazing World (2018) – Tessa Brinckman
Baroque flute + fixed audio – 5″
The score accompanied a research project realized during a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Using data sonification of the star system Orion and piano in the fixed media, Blazing World is a tribute to 17th Century philosopher and science writer, Margaret Cavendish, who was arguaby the first science fiction writer.
Music for multiple players
Your Coat, Turning (2023) – for a sounding community
Tessa Brinckman + Jane Rigler BMI/ASCAP
Any instrumentation + fixed media (video with audio) – 13:16
Your Coat, Turning is a video score, with sound, text and images, that guides participants to imagine, play and transmit sounds. The piece draws from electronic music, sound art, and contemplative practices. Text and video prompt the audience to explore sound and interact with (provided) mystery objects that create a communal music experience. It’s a musical experience that invites participants to create multiple futures through sound, video, text and play – a game of recreations of self and community. Our climate crisis means that the coat of the earth is changing — and we must be able to deal with injury through creativity, beyond survival to renewal. Joy and imagination are necessary birthrights, and communal, political acts. Our concept of communing offers something that in the moment people can belong to, contemplate their ancestral gifts, and build their own future. We are interested in how to transform our individual and collective metaphorical coats (i.e. identities) through the experience of sounding and imagining together.
Galanthea (2022) – Tessa Brinckman
alto flute + theorbo OR alto flute + guitar – 8″
Dedicated to guitarist Caroline Delume, Galanthea was commissioned by Festival Embarque (Paris France) and premiered by Tessa Brinckman, alto flute and Caroline Delume, theorbo, on August 26, 2022.
Galanthea is an homage to the snowdrop flower, galanthus nivalus, which uses thermogenesis to literally burn through the ice and snow.
The snowdrop is known as the first sign of spring, and also a messenger of hope. The composition is both improvisatory and strictly scored, microtonal and modal, beginning with a spacious atonal section, ending in a microtonal mode.
That Which Colors The Soul (2015) – Tessa Brinckman + Terry Longshore
flute, tabla, tuned bottles, waterphone + fixed audio – 12″
A tribute to Northern Indian music traditions, in a tensile relationship with modern and Western aesthetics. Both parts in the score are improvisatory within both Western and Indian traditions. The flute part is notated for key melodic phrases and raga indications, requires glissandi between certain notes (meend), and the sound is best (though not necessary) with a wooden headjoint. The tabla part requires an experienced tabla player. The piece can be heard in full on Bandcamp.
Umi Sajin (2013) – Tessa Brinckman + Mitsuki Dazai
Flute/alto flute/piccolo + koto/bass koto – 8″
Inspired by accounts of the Dust Bowl and the Great Garbage Patches in the Pacific Ocean, Umi Sajin expresses the ambivalence of our own survival in a destructive world. The score is mostly notated, with improvisatory parts, drawing from the Sawai koto school and jazz.
Glass Sky (2003) – Tessa Brinckman
Flute, violin, viola + cello – 10″
An homage to South African Outsider artist Helen Martins and her Owlhouse, borrowing from the Indian raga Multani and vocal traditions of the Kirana gharana. The score is fully notated. The flute part uses a wooden headjoint for its characteristic sound (though not essential), and glissandi technique (meend) is essential to the score. The recording can be purchased here or directly from Tessa Brinckman.