don't touch the wings
for unaccompanied flute
This work, commissioned by flutist Karin Aurell, navigates the stages of grief (shock/denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) through the eyes of a butterfly whose wings have been broken. I imagine the butterfly struggling to stay alive before accepting its oncoming demise. The five stages don't explicitly start at any given measure, but the emotional intent of the piece shifts like a gradient, exploring all five sentiments.
Extended techniques include air sounds; distorted, overblown sounds (both pitched and unpitched); articulating into the flute with a "ch" sound; whistle tones; bisbigliando; and tongue rams, along with a brief improvisatory section.
"don't touch the wings" was premiered at the Mount Allison Faculty Gala Concert, Friday September 10 at 7:30pm. The recording below was performed at the UNB Contemporary Music Festival, November 7, 2021.