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This work was written for a composition seminar in which Dr. Ricardo Lorenz paired each participating composer with a participating performer in order to write a solo work for the performer's instrument. Throughout the semester, Joelle (the flute player whom I consider a co-composer of this work) and I met periodically to discuss the piece I was writing. She would play passages that I'd written and together we'd make detailed modifications to make the music more idiomatic for the flute while still keeping my creative intent intact. As I expected, these sessions not only changed the way I originally intended certain things to be played, but it changed the sort of piece that I wanted to write. As we went along, Joelle showed me certain aspects of the flute of which I was unaware, and I immediately took that knowledge and applied it to the piece. Working directly and as often as possible with a performer is the most effective compositional technique I have ever encountered.
This work is still extremely challenging. It uses the full range of the flute in dynamics and pitch as well as several extended techniques. Between slow lyrical sections, rapid and aggressive passages, sweeping melodic gestures, expressive grace notes, flutter tonguing, and guided improvisation this piece offers the advanced flutist everything they could want in a short unaccompanied solo.
The title refers to an object of beauty that is incapable of being observed because it destroys the life that is attracted to it with the very thing that makes it beautiful. Thus, the piece reflects radiant beauty, loneliness, and lifelessness.