Repertoire Notes: Attitudes by Jon Jeffrey Grier

American composer Jon Jeffrey Grier introduces his duets for flutes or alto flutes
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
April 2014

Share on Facebook