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The flute and harp duo has been an enduring musical pairing in European classical music since the 1700s. Mozart’s “Concerto for Flute and Harp in C Major”, written in 1788, is the standard bearer for its genre. For the most part, the “Concerto” and the repertoire it defined may be characterized as long on charm and not much else. Robert Dick and Stephan Haluska reexplore the long established flute and harp duo in Crop Circles, through improvisation and creative approaches to their respective instruments. Robert and Stephan’s musical landscape is wildly colorful, created with Robert’s array of flutes, voice, jaw harps and game calls and Stephan’s harp, prepared with an assortment of materials and objects. Their conception of the emotional meaning of their music gives free reign to imagination, unburdened by the past. Crop Circles will be released on Infrequent Seams on January 19, 2024.
Robert Dick has dispensed with preconceptions about what a flutist should sound like and what a flutist should play. A revolutionary composer/performer/improviser, he has literally redefined the flute for our age. He began composing and improvising in the 1970s, driven by the core idea that acoustic instruments can be played as human-powered synthesizers, and by his love of continuous transformation of sound. Listening to Robert Dick play solo has been likened to the experience of hearing a large ensemble, an ensemble in which the instruments seem both acoustic and electronic and freely morph into each other.
Robert has performed and recorded with an extraordinary array of musical personalities, including Steve Lacy, John Zorn, Thomas Buckner, Ursel Schlicht, Adam Caine, Tiffany Weitien Chang, Nicola Hein, Dan Blake, Miya Masaoka, Joëlle Leandre, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway, Ulrike Lentz, Dave Soldier, Ned Rothenberg, Christy Doran, Steve Argüelles and many others. Robert’s invention, the Glissando Headjoint®, has revolutionized the essential sound of the flute, doing for the flute what the whammy bar does for the electric guitar and bringing a vocal quality that is entirely new to the instrument.
Through his idiosyncratic approaches to the harp, Cleveland-based harpist, improviser, and composer, Stephan Haluska draws from the instrument’s unique textural, percussive, physical, and kinetic qualities. Viewing the harp as a frequently misunderstood and unrepresented instrument in contemporary music, he often rejects conventional modes of playing in favor of finding new ways to expand his sound palette. Stephan plays with an advanced vocabulary of extended techniques and preparations, which include the use of various tools, materials, and gadgetry. He incorporates interdisciplinary elements of found object, collage, sound art, movement, and performance art into his artistic practices.
Max Hyde-Perry presents a new composition for small ensemble that explores cellular notation. To further share the experience of interpreting the music with the audience, the notation will be displayed through overhead projectors, revealing spontaneous score generation, manipulation, and cued interactions.
Max Hyde-Perry (he/him) is an improviser, composer, contrabassist, and puppeteer based in Cleveland.
Michael Billings, flutes
Leia Von Hohenfeld, flutes
Max Hyde-Perry, composition & contrabass
March 7-9, 2024
About the Music
The Cleveland Orchestra is renowned for its recordings and performances of the Brahms symphonies. Brahms’s Fourth and final symphony has been called “one of the supreme creative acts of the Romantic era” and enthralls listeners with tension between lyrical beauty, intense drama, and subdued melancholy. The piccolo gets a rare solo turn when the Orchestra’s principal piccolo, Mary Kay Fink, performs a dazzling work by Israeli composer Oded Zehavi commissioned especially for her.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Fabio Luisi, conductor
Mary Kay Fink, piccolo
This program’s Concert Preview lectures will be presented by Francesca Brittan, Associate Professor of Music, Case Western Reserve University