Join us this coming Sunday, June 1st at 4:15 pm at Rock & Bach Performing Arts School for the final concert of our Music 1st DFW tour! We will present a recital of original works for the flute and saxophone in an intimate setting. The concert is free and open to the public- We hope to see you there!
The Flute View Magazine reviewed our Interactions CD in their May 2014 edition!
"The last work on this release is Peter John’s Asteroid Baptistina. This asteroid is the one that is believed to have brought about the end of the age of dinosaurs and the beginning of a new era. He relates this idea to the current status of classical music: how do classical performers relate to new technology? John answers this question by combining flute and saxophone sounds and remixing them to deliver a convincing work that is a nice closer to this album."
"If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of flute and saxophone repertoire or if you have such an ensemble, there is certainly plenty of inspiration here."
Composer Anna E. Garman was commissioned by AVIDduo in 2012 to write for the 2013 season. We chose to include her piece, "Cracked Brick", in our debut album, "Interactions". We thoroughly enjoyed working with Anna and hope you all enjoy meeting her and hearing all of her marvelous work.
-BP & KH
AVIDduo: You began your musical studies on bassoon. How did you get started in composition?
Anna E. Garman: I was lucky enough to have a private lessons teacher who recognized that I was utterly bored with the middle school bassoon repertoire (of which there is basically none). He dabbled in composition himself, and introduced me to the idea of writing music when I was only a year into my studies. He told me where to download Finale Notepad, and the rest is history.
AD: What was your inspiration for Cracked Brick?
AEG: I can't say there was any one specific thing that inspired me for Cracked Brick. When I started the piece I just knew I wanted to stretch my own boundaries as a composer. Knowing I would have a dedicated duo to perform the work gave me a lot of freedom to try new things without the fear of it being off-putting to the performers. AVIDduo was on the receiving end of that freedom.
AD: How was your experience writing for AVIDduo? Were there any advantages or disadvantages in writing for flute, piccolo, and saxophone?
AEG: I had a great time writing Cracked Brick. The instrumentation did present a few unique challenges, but overall I really like the combination of flute and saxophone. The biggest obstacles for me were the different dynamic capabilities of the two instruments and the relative lack of a bass register (as a bassoonist, I tend to gravitate towards low registers), but neither presented any serious problems. In fact, one of my favorite moments in the piece is when I completely forsake the low register and have both the flute and saxophone way up in the stratosphere.
AD: What are your current musical projects?
AEG: I am currently in the final semester of my masters degree, so at the moment all of my time is eaten up by my thesis. It's an as-of-yet untitled work for full orchestra and solo Tenor and Baritone. I'm using two texts, one is Psalms 139 and the other is A Wasted Illness by Thomas Hardy. It should be finished by April 2014.
AD: Your husband, Michael A. Garman, is also a composer. Have you ever collaborated?
AEG: We collaborated once, and had a lot of fun doing it. We each wrote one movement of a three movement miniature for bassoon and clarinet (our instruments) separately, and then came together to write the final movement. If anyone has ever participated in an “exquisite corpse” exercise, that is basically how we approached the last movement. I would write about four measures of clarinet music, then he would write four for bassoon, overlapping and getting ahead of me. It was quite a challenge to get into someone else's mind and try and keep the motives and harmonic language consistent. We performed the work at the University of Redlands in 2011, but the last movement has since been lost. My second movement is now a standalone work, entitled Wonderings Subdued.
AD: How can musicians commission you, purchase your scores, or hear samples of your work?
AEG: Everything can be found on my website at www.annaegarman.com. If you don't find what you're looking for there, I'd be happy to field your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have no problem handing out scores, parts, and recordings, so don't be shy.
AD: Do you have any advice for young composers?
AEG: I'd say that just like learning an instrument, composing is about practicing. Don't be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and most importantly, learn from other composers AND musicians. You should always be thirsty for new information.
Anna E. Garman graduated from the University of North Texas summa cum laude with a BM in Composition, where she studied with Joelle Wallach and Joseph Klein among others. While at UNT she received a Presser scholar nomination, was a Concerto Competition finalist in composition, and was named Most Outstanding Undergraduate Composer. In addition to composition, she studied bassoon with Kathleen Reynolds, performed with various ensembles at UNT, worked for two years as a Supplemental Instruction Leader in music theory, and was a board member and officer of the UNT Composer's Forum. Her music has been performed throughout Texas, as well as in California, Kentucky, and Minnesota. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in composition from the University of Louisville as a Bomhard Fellow, where she studies with Steve Rouse.
THANK YOU to everyone who made it out to our CD release party in February! We are so honored to share our music with you, including the world premiere of Sam Melnick's Tesseract. This is the first time we have played a recital consisting of only commissioned music for our ensemble. We are so thankful to all of our composers, musicians, supporters, family, and friends for making this CD a reality!
If you were unable to make it to the event, but still wish to purchase an Interactions CD, click here to order online from the AVIDduo store. (It's also available on CD Baby and iTunes.) We will also have CDs for purchase at our upcoming performances in Iowa at Luther College and Coe College and in Illinois at the NASA Conference.
Thank you to Jeremy Powell Photography for the following pictures of the event.
See you at NASA!
In August 2013, AVIDduo traveled to Seoul, South Korea to teach and perform at the Jae Young Summer Camp in Yeongdeungpo. It was a pleasure for us to be reunited with our old friend Jinhee Yeo, who organized the camp and brought us there to teach with her and perform in the music festival. We are already looking forward to next year!
For those in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, come out to Studio Z on Saturday, September 21 at 7:30PM to hear some really fantastic original works for flute and saxophone by a wide collection of composers! The program will include:
We're from the Internet - Josh Clausen
Cracked Brick - Anna E. Garman
Interactions - Lenka Sturalova
deepities - Ted Moore
Ever Present - Alvin Lucier
BAAYAMI: From the Sky - Mark Oliveiro
Janus - Paul Hayden
We will be joined by special guest Peter John on piano!
Next week, we will be in the studio recording all of these works for an upcoming CD that will be released at the end of the year, so stay tuned for more details on this project!
Hello again to all our dear friends!
AVIDduo gave our first Community Enrichment tour in September of 2012. Here is a recap of our performances, complete with photos and adorable concert reviews.
BP & KH
Dallas, TX - September 21, 2012
AVIDduo performed six concerts at J. L. Long Middle School in Dallas, TX. The students in each class period were required to write a review of our performance, which included Chris Reza's "Synergy". Below are some excerpts from student submissions in regards to Synergy:
"I like this piece because I think [the] flute and saxophone sound beautiful together. Also, this piece sounds like it should be in a crime movie and the person is investigating. I really like this piece!"
"I like this one because in the first part the flute went really, like really, fast. It also sound[s] like if they're [in] a mysterious place running and running [and] trying to get out but they can't."
"I think that the duet was great and I think that they were meant to play together. I have never seen that before."
"The beginning when they started out really fast scared me because it reminded me of the scary alien movie 'Signs' [insert scared smiley face]. But anyways, I loved this performance cause it wasn't old or slow. I'd like to have them again too. [insert happy smiley face]"
"It's cool how they team up and make that sound."
Denton, TX - September 21 & 23, 2012
AVIDduo gave a performance for the flute studio of Dr. Mary Karen Clardy at the University of North Texas. We then returned to the university two days later to give a guest performance for the Phi Tau Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon, our alumni chapter! (Kyle was a chartering Alpha class member and Brittany rushed the following semester, making her Beta Class.) We always enjoy performing for our alma mater!
Frisco, TX - September 24, 2012
We performed at the Frisco Discovery Center, Black Box Theater, for the Rock & Bach Music Academy in Frisco, TX. Theater students took a break from their scripts and dancing to enjoy pieces by Mark Vinci and Chris Reza! We then gave a presentation and had a question and answer session.
Jacksboro, TX - September 25, 2012
Band director Kaleb Schumann, invited us to give two performances and masterclasses with the students of Jacksboro Middle School. After our performance and presentation, the saxophone students went with Kyle and Brittany took the flutists. We each discussed the fundamentals of tone production and ensemble playing. What a wonderful class of students!
Denton, TX - September 25, 2012
Director Allison Suding invited us to give a performance and question and answer session with her saxophone class at Calhoun Middle School in Denton, TX.
One of our favorite aspects of performing in a flute/saxophone duo is the interactions we cultivate with band directors, students, and composers. Our first Community Enrichment tour was not only a fun performance experience, but demonstrated that the music students in the DFW area are inquisitive, intellectual, and most certainly benefitted from our presentations. We will definitely be planning another tour in 2013!
AVIDduo made our European debut this past July! We are happy to write our long awaited European tour post! Here are just a few moments from our trip we'd like to share with you. We are so appreciative and grateful to all those in our lives who made this feat possible!
BP & KH
Ostrava, Czech Republic
Ostrava is an industrial city near the Polish border. Lenka Sturalova hosted us and we premiered her piece, Interactions, in her hometown at her Alma Mater. Lenka took Kyle and I to a non-functioning coal mine for a guided tour. Hard hats in place, we followed Lenka into the mines! (Okay, Heavy Metal Museum…) The guide was a fast speaking elderly Czech man, but Lenka was kind enough to translate. What a great experience!
Lenka’s father and mother drove us to Poland, which is about 3 hours from Ostrava. After some “Polish hospitality” we wandered the city, had lunch, and returned to Ostrava. In our excursion to Poland, we encountered a minor road block… but took the opportunity for a snack to go!
Prague, Czech Republic
With some Polish hospitality in tow, we boarded the train for a 4 hour ride to Prague. Our time in Prague was spent seeking out vegetarian restaurants, soaking up the music scene, and sightseeing in places like the Charles Bridge and Astronomical Clock! One highlight: At the Lobkowicz Palace, we saw a first edition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) and the original manuscript for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 & his String Quartet, op. 18. Also on display- Mozart’s orchestration notes from his edition of Handel’s Messiah, in his own handwriting.
As we prepare for our upcoming performances in the Czech Republic later this month, we thought it would be nice to post about the new pieces which were written for us this season! All of these pieces are on our program in Czech, and will be recorded in the upcoming months. Both the music and recordings will be available later this fall to anyone else wishing to perform some of this great duet music for the flute and saxophone!
Chris Reza, NY
Synergy, a work written for AVIDduo, is about the formation of a single being through the combining of two separate entities. This new entity has an effect that is greater than the two individual parts. While one can say this is representative of all collaborative musical works, and of all reality, this piece was explicitly written with this concept in mind. Mr. Reza is honored to have had Brittany Primavera and Jeffery Kyle Hutchins premiere Synergy at the 35th Navy Band Symposium at George Mason University, as well as perform it internationally.
Leonardo’s Sketchbook (2011)
Kirk O’Riordan, PA
I. quasi-cadenza; insistent, with energy
II. misterioso; very freely
III. legatissimo, senza espressione
IV. simplice ma ritmico, legatissimo sempre
V. cadenza; impulsive
VI. freely; with energy
VII. slowly; senza espressione
Leonardo’s Sketchbook was commissioned by the Phi Tau Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon at the University of North Texas for AVIDduo: Brittany Primavera, flute; Jeffery Kyle Hutchins, saxophone.
Leonardo’s Sketchbook plays on the idea of an inventor writing down ideas for inventions in a notebook. The “inventions” are similar to Bach’s Inventions…two part works that are highly imitative and employ on occasion some fancy contrapuntal tricks, like mirror canons, etc. Like some of the inventor’s ideas, some are more developed than others… some elaborate, some very simple. They are performed without pause.
Falling to the Sea (2012)
John Richard, MI
As I was composing Falling to the Sea and thinking about the primary melodic gesture of the piece, I imagined a small mountain stream twisting among the rocks and dropping from the cliffs as it flowed towards the ocean. It’s not that the music I wrote evokes alpine meadows and waterfalls, but the image I had of flowing and falling water was analogous to the floating and descending gestures that shape the piece. These gestures appear in several forms throughout the music. In the beginning, the saxophone’s long, floating tones create a sense of motionlessness (interrupted by the flute’s short bursts) before the melodic line begins to descend in pitch and accelerate, the sax eventually joining in with the flute’s twisting chromatic figures. In another instance, the flute and sax play high, sustained pitches that descend chromatically together as they accelerate. And this is the gesture—falling and picking up speed—that is elaborated and developed throughout the piece and which forms the main structural material of the work. There is another important gesture found in the fast, chromatic, twisting fragments that begin and end the composition. They develop in a different manner than the “falling” gesture, transformed in the middle section of the piece into slow, winding, melodies. Falling to the Sea was written for the AVIDduo, Brittany Primavera, flute and Jeffery Kyle Hutchins, saxophone.
Lenka Štůralová, CZ
The piece Interactions was composed in autumn 2011 in Ostrava, Czech Republic for AVIDduo. The main body of the piece is focused on constant interactions between two elements, represented by the flute and the saxophone, whose coexistence is developing in a variety of ways which continuously change, but ultimately lead to an agreeable ending.
Avocado at Midnight (2011)
Jeffery Kyle Hutchins, MN
Composed for AVIDduo, Avocado at Midnight is the first movement of a larger work titled Fruit Pieces, which may be performed together or separately. Each short movement is based on an ear-worm idea that somehow got stuck in my head and found it’s way to paper. The other movements Tangerine at Twilight and Pineapple at Noon, like the first movement, more or less have nothing to do with fruit or time, except that they are short and sweet. And probably a little fruity.
Welcome to AVIDduo's blog! For today's post, I wrote down all the things from my own chamber experiences that have helped me become a better musician. Most of these qualities apply not just to chamber music, but also ensemble music and solo repertoire.
I hope you enjoy and, as always, feel free to leave feedback!
10 Qualities of a Successful Chamber Musician
1. Flexibility. In regards to availability for scheduling of rehearsals, it is imperative to be as accommodating as possible with dates and times. It is also important to be flexible in trying new things musically, including dynamics, shaping the phrase, where to breathe, and giving and taking time throughout certain passages. Be adaptable and willing to rehearse or perform with a short or long warm up. Practice all times of day. You never know if your next gig will be early morning or late at night.
2. Preparation. Organize your music before rehearsal. Knowing the music includes being comfortable with all notes, rhythms, dynamics, phrasing, where to carry the theme, any secondary themes, etc. Setting up for rehearsal includes having your instrument in good working condition, having your materials including a playable reed, and being warmed up.
3. Resourcefulness. Use all of your resources as a musician, whether they are intellectual or tangible. It is a valuable skill to be able to change something immediately in the music and keep the consistency of the change. It is also essential with a group working with little rehearsal time to make the best of each session. Another skill set in practical musicians is the ability to make connections within the music and also, in regards to professional ensembles, connections through networking to find opportunities for the group in performance and community outreach.
4. Consistency. Strive for consistency within the music. Once an issue is resolved within the music, make it fixed every time, so that the group can move on. This saves rehearsal time and causes the group to move forward and achieve goals. In addition to being dependable with the quality of performance, be constant with the attitude brought to rehearsal.
5. Self Improving. Have a thirst for self improvement in all areas of life- music, physical fitness, and health are just a few. Contribute new ideas to the group concerning repertoire, performance opportunities, and musical suggestions.
6. Motivation. Be ready and excited to work and put into rehearsal the preparation achieved in practice. Do not rely on outside sources for motivation, be self-sufficient.
7. Positivity. Bring a positive attitude to rehearsal. Do not create self doubt, compare yourself to others, or give negative talk aloud or in the privacy of your own thoughts. The importance of a promising outlook on the music and the accepting of constructive criticism compiled with a thirst for knowledge and self improvement is unstoppable.
8. Strong sense of tonality. Know the structure of music. Remember back to your theory classes about how the seventh scale degree usually pulls to the first (ti-do) or the fourth scale degree falls to the third (fa-mi). Add a few simple folk tunes to your warm ups. Use piano accompaniment, when possible, and commit them to memory to enforce what you hear.
9. Knowledge of the instrument. Know the “quick fixes” for small problems like leaky pads and loose springs, but also learn how your instrument works! It is difficult to learn the craft of instrument repair because not many universities offer classes in repair and those that do mostly offer basics. To really delve into repair, it is necessary to find a teacher and take on an apprentice like relationship. If you have not done it, I recommend picking up a version of your instrument from a pawn shop and taking it apart/putting it back together again. This offers insight into how the mechanism of your own instrument works and will help you conquer the quick fixes. As a chamber player, you’ll be a valuable asset when someone has a leaky pad or spring out of place.
10. Listen. Become a fanatic music listener. Listen during rehearsals to fit your part into the piece, but also listen to everything you can find relevant to what you are preparing. Preparing Mozart? Listen to baroque recordings and note the typical style, phrases, and harmonic structure. Recordings are wonderful resources, but also find live performances and attend as many as possible. Support your local chamber groups by attending their shows. Do not be afraid to bring a pencil and paper and take notes as to what you are hearing and how you can incorporate what you hear into your own practice or rehearsal time. Listening is the most important element to creating a successful player.
Members Brittany Primavera and Jeffery Kyle Hutchins blog about their experiences in a saxophone and flute duo.