Toys by Jean Ahn: I was introduced to this charming piece when I judged a new music competition last fall. It didn't win, but I was so intrigued by the colors Jean got by combining flute and piano with wind-up toy, and when I asked, she was generous enough to gift me a copy of the parts. As she says in the score,
"Toys that sing, toys that sing like your mommy...Not the electronically synthesized sound, but a sound that is only tailored for you. Breathe, laugh, cry, cuddle, and hug...That is the imaginary toy that we as musical moms want to leave when we can't be there with our babies. This piece explores eight nursery songs, from 'Farmer in the Dell' to 'ABC' song, sometimes explicitly and sometimes ambiguously."
The pianist in this recording, Theresa Bogard, and I gave the Wyoming premiere of this back in March in Rock Springs, and played it again in April at UW for a faculty recital.
Gocce by Emanuela Ballio: Italian for "drops", this solo work was a finalist in the Flute New Music Consortium composition contest last summer. It is great fun to play. and Emanuela has been such a kind and supportive cheerleader! I gave the world premiere of this piece in April at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and plan to program it many more times.
Look for more installments throughout the summer; I next plan to explore the sound board with some electro-acoustic pieces by Nico Muhly, Kay He, and who knows?....