These duets were started in 2008 when my colleague who teaches woodwinds at our school expected that he was going to have two flute players the following year; I got exited about the project and started in, even though the ensemble was not confirmed. When only one of the students actually showed up, I was far enough into it that I decided to finish. This colleague is very supportive, and eventually he gave a student performance of the first one – Flirty – with marimba covering the 2nd part. It was quite effective.
I love to tinker with counterpoint and I love the textures that can be gotten out of multiple flutes, so in these pieces you get some of both, often in alternation. From my background in rock and jazz I bring a love of busy, motoric rhythm – so there’s a good bit of that as well. There is no storytelling here – just some moods that seem appropriate to the titles.
I work with teenagers and I’ve helped raise a couple. They are fascinating. One minute they are quasi adults, the next minute they’re like toddlers. It’s rewarding to be a part of that transition, and watching – hopefully – as they become more of the former and less of the latter. It’s a wonder that any of us survive the experience. I don’t think of these pieces as humorous, exactly, but I do smile to myself as I hear these sounds and associate them with my own breakthroughs and struggles in those years. I hope others will also.
Jon Jeffrey Grier
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