In the context of a “duo,” the sense of dialogue or conversation between the two instruments dominates. Imagining the two flutes as improvisers interacting with each other spontaneously, I wanted to explore how different types of conversations can unfold.
The first movement is essentially two monologues, rather than a dialogue. The use of similar motives in both parts reflects the similarity between the two solo conversations. While these two instruments may be “speaking” about the same subject, they are still in their own solo world. I’m reminded of two people talking together, but hearing themselves more than the other.
The second movement is a fast and excited exchange of ideas. Each flute is chasing, mirroring, or exactly doubling the other, as if they are finishing each other’s sentences. The changing meters and syncopated accents in one part attempt to fluster the other, but neither one can be thrown off.
The third movement is the most harmonious and where the conversation is the most complementary. But still each part manages to hold on to their own identities, especially represented by the scales in the end that cascade down: almost aligned, but not quite completely.
Flute 1, Flute 2/Alto Flute
c. 8 minutes
*Indicates a world premiere