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Solo Flute, in Narrative Segments

A work by Kansas City—based Mara Gibson

The solo flute is heard, in this piece by composer Mara Gibson, as a sequence of solitary gestures. A whistling high note succeeds a breathy mid-register tone, the two separated by a sudden sharp sound that reminds the listener that any instrument, including the flute, can play percussion. There are as well desperately tenuous moments where the lips seem to struggle to eke out the quietest sounds possible, and others where a short melodic phrase is given a moment to develop before being cut short. There are extended silences, and near-silences that suggest distant birdsong. At seven and a half minutes in length, it’s an absorbing work that exerts a narrative logic as each segments reflects both backward and forward.

Track originally posted at More from Gibson, a professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, at and

By Marc Weidenbaum

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