Following the score in performance:
Ultimately, it is ideal to perform this piece on an iPad. If that is not feasible, photocopy the last line of page 7 (rehearsal 11) and tape onto the top of the next page (Figure 1). Turn right at rehearsal 11. Photocopy the last line of page 8 (rehearsal 13) and take onto the top of page 9 (Figure 2). Also, photocopy the last line of page 9 (rehearsal 15) and tape onto the top of page 10 (Figure 3). After the fffz high D, turn the page. All other page turns are manageable as is.
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
Who to listen for and where:
The first and third sections are pretty straight forward. Each musical idea is presented alone, and there are most often 3, 5, or 7 second rests in between each event. The middle section is where it can get tricky. Starting at rehearsal 11, listen for the eighth note figure in the Percussion 1 part (figure 4). Bounce off of the 5th bass drum note, for the entrance at the bottom of page 7. By listening to this part, it provides the downbeats for the next two figures at the top of page 8. At rehearsal 12, switch at listen to the Percussion 2 part (figure 5). Bounce off of the 3rd bass drum hit. These bass drum notes provide the downbeats for the following figure at rehearsal 12. On the second line of page 8, go back to listening to the Percussion 1 part (figure 6). This provides the downbeats until rehearsal 13. It also helps tremendously to write in the names of the players for Percussion 1 and 2. It is easy to get the parts confused.
Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6
Section 1 isolated events between each performer from the beginning to rehearsal 11.
Section 2: from rehearsal 11-17. Thick-textured chamber music.
Section 3: return to isolated events between performers
Elements to think about throughout the piece:
The opening is marked semplice (like a primitive instrument). I suggest, thinking of the hollow, distant sound of a wooden flute to help portray this image. Even though it is marked (normal vibrato) it is also effective to think of a sheer shimmer, or no vibrato at all. This contrasts nicely to the measured vibrato that occurs next. The motive is repeated two times each with increasing embellishment. Make sure the intensity grows, however the distant, primitive sound remains present. The beginning through rehearsal 2 is a long, flute cadenza. Enjoy your moment. The next flute entrance at rehearsal 3 changes in timbre, mood, and pacing. A pointed articulation will help in projecting the repeated notes. It is important to practice the gestures from rehearsals 3 - 11 in isolated events. Within each gesture you will find flutter-tonguing sfz, sub p, and molto crescendo. Practice each motion separately before stringing them together.
At rehearsal 5, if you are not playing on an iPad, turn two pages. This section is the transition from the long, flute solo, to interactive chamber music. Percussion 1, Percussion 2, and the flutist have a conversation from rehearsal 5 to rehearsal 11. Between rehearsals 7 and 9, experiment with switching between using the Bb thumb key, the lever, and no Bb thumb. At rehearsal 9, the Percussion 1 part changes the atmosphere as he is marked "dead-stick". Channel this mood, before entering with the first speak-flute phrase. It should feel eerie, and disheartening.
A strong, fz from all three percussionists indicates the B section of the piece. This is interactive music where the flutist must follow the score carefully and count carefully. From rehearsal 11, listen to the Percussion 1 part. This will help with the first entrance. Switch and listen to the Percussion 2 part for the entrance after rehearsal 12. This section should feel violent and angry. The most difficult counting challenge appears at rehearsal 13. It helps to listen to the Percussion 1 part - subdividing to the sixteenth note. Marking in the names of each percussionist also helps in this intricate section. Rehearsal 14 is the most violent cadenza of the piece. Allow each percussion hit as a springboard into each cadenza-like figure.
The 13 second pause before rehearsal 17 indicates the transition into section 3. If you are not performing the piece with an iPad, now is the time to turn the remaining pages. These musical fragments are reminiscent of the figures found between rehearsals 7 and 9 in Section 1. Again, experiment with where you can use the Bb thumb, lever, or long Bb.
The piece begins to dissolve at rehearsal 19. Fragments of pitch-bending from the beginning of the piece reappear, however surrounded by whistle-tones and harmonics. The timbre and mood change from harsh and aggressive to melancholy and distant. The opening motive returns, just as hollow and removed. The motive is stated four times. The flute then hands the music off to the percussionists. The perform an exchange of decaying septuplets and quintuplets before a long, sustained lion's roar. Really allow this figure to resonate before ending the piece with the turtle-dove tremolo reminiscent from the beginning of the work.