A Quickening – Concerto for Flutes & Percussion, dedicated to Eva Amsler by Robert Raines
Piccolo, 6 Flutes, 2 Alto Flutes, 2 Bass Flutes, Contra Bass Flute, optional Sub-Contra Bass Flute, Marimba and percussion for 3 or 4 players
From the composer: This piece illustrates my continued interest in exploring the sonic landscape created by a group of instruments from the same family, an effect heightened by the purity of tone produced by the flutes. I have expanded this palette by adding the warmth of the marimba and vivid percussion colors. Extremes of range, tone, texture, and tempo are explored: dense vertical clusters juxtaposed with more horizontal, kaleidoscopic/contrapuntal passages. I have strived to give each member of the ensemble its own voice and a chance to stand alone, while in other sections all of the players are meant to meld into one macro-instrument.
Those technical points aside, I strove to illustrate my personal feelings about the act of creation – music, literature, dance, the visual arts, all I believe share a common creative electricity. I have long been inspired by the following words from Martha Graham, and I kept this quote near while composing this piece. The title is inspired by her words:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy… a quickening… that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium but will be lost. It's not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. Whether you choose to take an art class, keep a journal, record your dreams, dance your story, or live each day from your own creative source, above all else, keep the channel open.” — Martha Graham
Duration (about) 12:00