frank stemper

Pipe  (2015)
solo flute — 9 minutes



PIPE (2015) is a set of three short pieces for solo flute commissioned by Douglas Worthen, a talented flutist and extraordinarily dedicated musician, who has participated in the premieres of a half-dozen of my works.  These three solos have a traditional chronology, Fast — Slow — Faster, and are related not only thematically, but in pitch structure and rhythmic proportion, then cross-referenced by several different types of articulation.  The music also contains tangential nuances that bring out more human personas, such as hesitant self-doubt, introspective pondering, and abrupt changes of mood — traits with which most of us can identify.  Perhaps if these more human passages touch a nerve within us, they will also touch others who sit around us in the concert hall, and this empathy will form a bond among us paralleling the solitude that normally exists during a musical performance. For, like this solo piece, and the solitary performer standing on the stage, all of us are alone, especially when listening to music.  Artistic communication is actually communication with ourselves, but I am hopeful that PIPE will encourage some sense of convergence within this small community known as an audience.
It seems to me that humankind is becoming more and more a separate and separated group.  This is only reinforced by the physically and emotionally independent lives we lead, the obtuse social media inventions that are eliminating real personal interaction, and the growing fear and distrust of our fellow man that is reinforced again and again by the news media and the actions of our political leaders. 



Last Updated: October 10, 2015