As a composer, one of the best ways to learn how to write for an instrument is to learn how to play the instrument, or at least listen to music written for it while following along with the score. I am fortunate to be related to three flautists - my sister Debby, my brother-in-law François Minaux (the flautist on this recording) and my wife, Yumi -- which has provided me a unique opportunity to learn about this versatile instrument.
I was (and still am) an amateur pianist and had played very little chamber music before accompanying Yumi in Gluck’s ‘Dance of the Blessed Spirits’ nearly 15 years ago. It is one of my fondest musical memories, as it was the first time we played together. Over the years, we worked through many pieces together which helped me increase my knowledge and appreciation of flute and its varied repertoire. I began to composing for flute and piano, and over the next 10-or-so years completed the works heard on this recording. In these pieces, I have tried to make the piano an equal partner – not merely an accompaniment – to the flute, and have made full use of the flute in terms of color, texture and technique.
While these pieces are officially for ‘flute and piano’ I will always think of them as works for Yumi and Dan – as so much of my inspiration comes from her, and from our playing together.
released July 23, 2015
François Minaux (Flute), Mayumi Tayake (Piano) and Megan Gardner (Soprano)