Clarke: Spiral Lament for Flute & Piano

Clarke: Spiral Lament for Flute & Piano

ICM109
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  • Intermediate+ (grade 7)
  • Does not need open-holes or B foot
  • Composed by Ian Clarke

Notes from the composer:

Hannah Money asked me several years ago to compose a piece for her giant African Snails!  I have to admit to being not a little perplexed.  Sometime later I met one of these incredible creatures and had a long close look......an unforgettable moment!  It was like looking through a window into a strange and wondrous alien world.  For me, this experience made more potent the wonder of the natural world we live in.  I also have young children who constantly marvel and delight in creatures of all sorts.  They often overcome initial feelings of fear in order to pick up and befriend something to which an adult may not give a second thought  - the occasional snail gets the better of their curiosity and is taken under their wing.  Grown-ups are frequently  forced to give the world of small animals, with strange and varied methods of locomotion, a second thought. Beyond fear there is fascination, discovery and a different space.  

I found all this rather exotic, inspiring and quite profound.  This was now something I wanted to express.  Hannah had asked that I make the piece playable and approachable for an intermediate, not just an advanced player.  In the end I have used techniques unfamiliar to both intermediate and advanced flautists so I hope it will be an achievable and fun challenge for all.  

In order to remove some of the apprehension about these unfamiliar techniques I have set out some exercises that will give you a plan of attack should you need one.  I think I can safely say that they are not poisonous or harmful ...... although you may dream quarter-tones for a few days, they have no teeth or slimy  bits!

The piece can be interpreted on a number of different levels.  The  descriptive element is hopefully self-evident and fun to explore but perhaps more importantly, some sense of the marvel of living things and  hence connection with our own existence is also present!


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