1. June 2020

New Music Monday #11

New Music Monday #11 presents a special version of Pierre Boulez‘ Dialogue de l’Ombre Double, played by Helen Bledsoe. She transformed the piece for clarinet into a flute/bass flute version. On the blog, Helen tells us all about this process on which she worked for almost a decade.

>>>link to download
The binaural mix is heard best heard over headphones.

“Adapting, recording and releasing the flute/bass flute version of Boulez’ Dialogue de l’Ombre Double has been a ten year labor of love (and frustration). The mischievous flutist inside me listened to this clarinet piece and thought, why doesn’t Boulez write for flute this way? Not to disparage his wonderful works for flute, but his Dialogue has such contrasting characters who are so articulate and moving in ways that his flute characters are not.
In 2007 I received permission from Boulez to attempt a version. After completing the score and several performances, the version never received acknowledgement, but it received no prohibition, which I took as an OK to continue.
Some comments about the flute/bass flute version: I originally wanted to make a version for just the bass flute. While I think this may be technically possible, I was too frustrated by the instability of the intonation of the upper register. Maybe on a newer bass flute with a narrower bore, this would be less of a problem. The bass flute has also less scope for dynamics than the clarinet. This is not surprising, clarinet making and performers have had generations to develop their art. Bass flute making and playing is still in its early generations – although Eva Kingma and Kotato are making wonderful headway (I am playing on a Kingma here).  I decided to switch from C flute to bass flute between movements in order to play in tune and to emphasize the changes of character, although I attempted to do so in a way that is hopefully not monotonously predictable.
I would like to take the opportunity here to thank Melvyn Poore, who recorded the initialfinal, and the transitions, and performed the electronic parts in concert with me. He also made the recording which is now available. Thanks to Mark Steinhäuser, who transcribed and transposed the score for me. And a big thank you to Hendrik Manook who did the final mastering and this binaural mix.”

Helen Bledsoe