Laurence Crane: Erki Nool

This little three minute miniature for flute and piano was written in 1999. It is the second of Laurence’s pieces I’ve performed this year (the first was the Trio), and I can’t help but think of these pieces almost as ‘mini Feldman’. The simplicity is disarming, demanding focused, almost meditative listening. Although the music is not technically demanding in the traditional sense (in this piece I play a repeated two bar phrase beginning on different notes in the lowest two octaves of the flute and never play a note shorter than a minim), the need for accurate intonation and a smooth sound at soft dynamics requires a good deal of control of the air flow.

Like Feldman, this music does something to the state of mind; it’s a bit like a palette cleanser which has a sort of purifying effect, removing traces of previously heard pieces and forcing the ear to tune into the softest sounds and slow moving harmonies. Despite it’s short duration, this piece is a serious work which has a strong emotional impact, and I’m very much looking forward to performing it.

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