The Tornado Project:
Flute, Clarinet and Computer

October 27, 2008

Electro-acoustic musicians yearn for innovative repertoire that challenges their musical abilities and creates new sound worlds. The Tornado Project, an exciting collection of new works for flute, clarinet and computer to be performed at NYU’s Robert Loewe Theater, features a program of compositions that satisfy the ever-evolving aural palettes of musicians and listeners alike.

The compositions are to be performed by virtuoso flutist Elizabeth McNutt and Pro Musica Award winning clarinetist Esther Lamneck. The two powerhouse electro-acoustic musicians often collaborate with composers and technicians, pioneering new sonic territories. According to Lamneck, composer Ricardo Climent chose the name The Tornado Project as a reference to the “two most powerful woodwind players he knew,” and was inspired to spearhead the project after a conversation with Lamneck about a desire for new work. Lamneck went on to say that “there is limited repertoire for flute clarinet and piano, or flute, clarinet and tape. This is probably the first repertoire for flute, clarinet and interactive computer, and they certainly fill a need!”

Composers featured on the program are Ricardo Climent, Eric Lyon, Andrew May, Robert Rowe, and Paul Wilson. They were chosen for their ability to compose for wind instruments and real-time computer interaction. In these new works, the computer is functioning as a player, generating a complex response and independent behavior, as well as fixed responses. The pieces are notated with a combination of traditional and non-traditional methods, and are both fixed and improvised.

The Tornado Project is the U.S. premier for Russian Disco (Climent), What Lies Beneath (Wilson), Still Angry (May), and Trio for Flute, Clarinet and Computer (Lyon), and the World premier for Primary Colors by Rowe. The works explore contemporary culture, sounding literature and politics, ideas of intimate exchange, and concepts of color and form. According to Lamneck, these works are part of an exciting ongoing project to expand electro-acoustic, computer interactive repertoire that, she is happy to say, will continue. Lamneck’s enthusiasm for the The Tornado Project is palpable, and audiences shouldn’t miss this opportunity to hear these important new works.

Written by Suzanne Thorpe