Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Acclaimed flutist Claire Chase releases ambitious album series

Described by The New York Times as “the most important flutist of our time,” Chase has released four full-length albums of the complete Density 2036 cycles from 2013-2018. 

Density 2036 is a 24-year project begun by Claire Chase in 2013 to commission an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute each year until the 100th Anniversary of Edgard Varèse’s groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5. Each year until 2036, Claire will commission and premiere a new program of flute music. These albums are the first fruit of these commissions, realized in the first three years of the project, featuring 17 works by 15 composers written for all members of Claire’s flute family, from piccolo to “Big Bertha” (her contrabass flute), as well as electronics, voice, and a handful of other instruments.

Tyshawn Sorey performed percussion on his contribution and Suzanne Farrin played Ondes Martenot on hers; Roomful of Teeth collaborate with Chase on one piece, and sound designer Levy Lorenzo handles the electronics throughout. Participants come from a wide range of creative contemporary music circles; they include Richard Beaudoin, Nathan Davis, Jason Eckardt, Dai Fujikura, Vijay Iyer, Felipe Lara, Mario Diaz de Leon, George Lewis, Pauline Oliveros, Pauchi Sasaki, Francesca Verunelli, and Du Yun. Full album credits can be found at

The exquisitely detailed recordings were made at the Meyer Sound Laboratories in Berkeley and produced by Matias Tarnopolsky over the course of four years, with no overdubbing or corrections, presenting Chase’s incredible musicality in all its glory. The physical recordings on CD are out now via Corbett vs Dempsey, an art gallery and record company based in Chicago and founded by music writer and producer John Corbett and Jim Dempsey. The recordings are also available digitally on Bandcamp

Of the project, Chase shares: “Density 2036 is a collective undertaking at its core, and this compilation of world premiere recordings from the first five years of the project is about so much more than a little tube of metal. It’s about an intergenerational, intersectional, multi-genre group of artists coming together to imagine a musical future in community. It’s also about creating a new ecosystem for the way that new music is created, nourished and shared, focusing well beyond a premiere. With DensitySeeds and DensityRoots, I hope that this living, breathing archive of work in all its forms will foster new forms of collaboration and conviviality within the next generations of musicians and listeners.”

Flutist Claire Chase

Claire Chase is a flutist, collaborative artist, educator and advocate for new and experimental music. She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, and in 2017 was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Chase is Professor of the Practice of Music at Harvard University. She has given the world hundreds of new works by a new generation of composers, and she has championed new music internationally by forming organizations, cultivating intersectional alliances, founding commissioning initiatives and supporting community and education programs that reach new audiences. She lives in Brooklyn.

Get Density 2036 here: CD (via Corbett Vs. Dempsey) | Digital (via Bandcamp) | Official site

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