Taming the Furies
Duration (in minutes): 4'39;35'34;
Difficulty: High (professional)
Category: solo instrument other than piano, solo woodwind instrument
Instruments: any woodwind, flute
Publisher: Subito Music Corporation
Description: Lately, I have joined the long line of composers interested the persistence of myth as a way of explaining our lives. The myth most often of fascination to artists is that of “Orpheus”, the musician who could tame wild beasts with the power of his music. Some versions of the myth have him descending to the Underworld, where he must persuade the Furies to release his loved one. The title of this work refers both to this journey and to the need of humans to overcome the furies that lie within.
Two of the gestures of this work come specifically from the myth. The descending passages refer to the descent into the Underworld. And the trills refer to the birds that are part of the animal kingdom enthralled by Orpheus. The work moves from large leaps and dissonance to flute harmonics and consonance. The Furies erupt from time to time, but each time the eruption has less violence.
Several years ago, the flutist Nina Assimakoupulos requested this piece for her Laurels project. The Laurels project consists of works for solo flute of less than five minutes in length, to be based on a myth.