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This is a fascinating little piece for alto flute and violin, which I’m preparing for the UK premiere in a rarescale concert with Marie Schreer. We’ve worked with Tomi before on a much longer piece so it’s particularly interesting to see his ideas distilled into just 4 minutes.
The title comes from the term ‘no-go zone’, and relates to the area of restricted land after a nuclear disaster. As one might expect, the music is sparse with many short silences and an eerie atmosphere. The alto flute part is relatively simple, with lots of repeated notes, which symbolize the sound of a Geiger counter measuring radiation. These pulses are present throughout the piece, and create a sense of tension and foreboding. These sounds interspersed with flutter tonguing and pitchbends in contrasting unmeasured sections. The violin part is a little more active, with glissandos appearing frequently under the rhythmic pulse of the flute. In performance, our aim is to create this stark and perhaps even frightening atmosphere, and to produce a feeling of the eeriness that must exist in a no-go zone.