Over the past few months, I’ve been working with two flute players from the flute studio here at the Bienen School of Music to collaborate on writing a new work for solo flute. This part of an initiative begun by Claire Chase in order to create more new works for flute, in the hopes that one (or more) of them will become the next great addition to the flute repertoire. Over the course of her three residencies here, I got a chance to have my piece coached by Claire Chase herself. Her incredible positivity and enthusiasm was infectious and very encouraging. Once again, I had to stop and marvel at the opportunities presented to the students of Northwestern University.
That’s a picture of the amazing flute player JingPing who played my piece. She wasn’t just a player, she was firmly a collaborator in writing the piece. Not only did her suggestions make the piece better, but she helped me learn what I needed to improve on as a composer.
There were moments during the past quarter where I knew I had too much work on my hands and wanted to give up on finishing the piece. Looking back now, I’m incredibly glad I didn’t make that decision, as the reward of having my piece performed that night was absolutely worth all the work I put into it.