Payne: Reflections Program Notes

Composer, Recording Engineer, Flutist, Video Artist Maggi Payne (b. 1945) is Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, Oakland, CA, where she teaches recording engineering, composition, and electronic music. Her primary teachers—flutist Walfrid Kujala and composer Robert Ashley—stand among some of the most influential artists of their respective disciplines. Her sensitivity to timbre stems back to her first exploratory encounters with the flute as a nine-year-old student, and this curious spirit has continued to permeate many of her compositions. Though she is primarily an electroacoustic composer, she has contributed a new work to the flute repertoire every ten years: HUM (1973), Scirocco (1983), Aeolian Confluence (1993), and two solo works, Of All and Reflections (2003).

The National Flute Association commissioned Reflections for their 2004 High School Competition, and Payne dedicated the work to Walfrid Kujala. The timbral elements in this work include multiphonic trills, glissandi, air effects, harmonics, tongue rams, key clicks, singing while playing, and percussive articulations. The composer provides the following notes on the work:

The title for this work stems from the many internal reflections in the work—there are many phrases which echo or reflect the immediately preceding phrase. Reflections also occur on a larger scale throughout the work, with varied reflections of previous phrases. The nature of the sounds is also reminiscent of reflections on the water, with slight perturbations in an otherwise glassy surface modulating the reflections.

 

Once again, I have selected a recording by my teacher, Nina Assimakopoulos. She worked directly with the composer on this work prior to recording it for her most recent album.

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