Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013 - (Page 6)

in my own words the Music of now CLAIRE CHASE Flutist, Cofounder of the International Contemporary Ensemble Claire Chase knew from a young age that she would pursue a career in music, but no one could have predicted what that career would look like. A virtuoso flutist, she has performed the world premieres of more than 100 new works for flute, released two full-length solo albums to critical acclaim, and is working on a third album. In 2012, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, in part for her work with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), which she cofounded in 2001. Chase favors the Webster definition of “contemporary”: happening, living, existing, coming into being. As you’ll see, this definition applies not only to the music she commissions, but to a performing career that is still taking shape. When i was three years old, my folks took me to a symphony orchestra concert. We sat in the nosebleed section of the balcony, and what caught my eye and my ear immediately was this golden rod in the middle of the orchestra. i was completely enamored with the sounds and the visual quality of this instrument. i remember how it caught the light as it moved. i could not take my eyes off it, and all i wanted to do was hear it. after the concert i told my mother that i wanted one, and she said, “that’s fine, but you’re a little young to start on the flute.” so i started on the piano and the violin, but for every birthday and every Christmas, i kept on asking for a flute. finally, on my eighth Christmas i got a flute. i was the happiest kid in the world when i opened that present. i remember clearly the first time i blew into it. i wiggled my fingers and made a trill, which is one of the easiest things to do on a flute but it sounds really great. i felt the vibration of the instrument under my fingers, and in my chest, and with my breath, and it was a very powerful experience. it still is. every time i pick up the flute, that tactile relationship still mystifies and enchants me. beyond pretty SHUttERStoCk 6 imagine When i was about thirteen, my music teacher put a score on the music stand one day when i came in for my lesson. it was a seminal piece by the composer edgard Varèse called “density 21.5,” which is the density of platinum. it looked so strange, with all these squiggly lines. it didn’t look like mozart or Bach or anything else i was working on. DAVID MICHALEk Enchanted then, for the next four and a half minutes he played me this piece, and it completely blew my mind. i had never heard or imagined anything like it. the flute was taken to a completely different planet. it was a piece that defined the possibility of the instrument beyond just being pretty. the flute all of a sudden was capable of articulation like a percussion instrument, and volume like a brass instrument can produce, and emotional power like a singer can communicate. i became obsessed with this piece and didn’t want to play anything else. it’s an incredible work of art, and hearing it was the beginning of my interest in what is called new music. Cliff-jumping When i was a teenager, i played in the san diego Youth symphony, and i had a couple of freelance orchestra jobs when i was in college. i loved playing in the orchestra. i mean, the principal flute spot in the orchestra is pretty much as sweet as it gets. You’re right behind the cellos. You’ve got the oboe next to you. You’ve got the percussion and the brass behind you. You’re sitting dead center, looking at the conductor, communicating with the chief. it’s a pretty awesome spot. But when i got to oberlin, i started playing in smaller mar/apr 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013
Big Picture
In My Own Words
Music to My Ears
Together as One
Circle of Inspiration
Six Strings and a Dream
In Pursuit of Joy
Jazz Studies, Improvised
Music in College
From the Great Wall to the Golden Gate
Sines and Wonders
Selected Opportunities & Resources
My Journey Through the College Admissions Process
How It Feels to Run
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013