Kyle Gann: Siren

One of the pleasures we learned from the tape-delay and phase-shifting pieces of the 1960s was that of hearing echoes among multiples of the same instrument. An immense repertoire of such works has been created since then; Mary Jane Leach, Lois Vierk, and Julius Eastman are among the composers whose careers pointed in that direction. My contribution, inspired by the same impulses they were, amounted to Siren for five flutes (1978) and Long Night for three pianos (1980-81), both written while I was in graduate school at Northwestern. In Siren, five flutes surround a performance space and, only roughly synchronized, perform slightly differing versions of more or less the same melody. Variations in the notated rhythm jostle with variations in human playing speed to create accidental unisons and echo distances. (An ulterior motive for the work was that I had just broken up with a girlfriend, and most flutists were attractive women.)

Score (PDF) MP3

- Kyle Gann

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