My Sonatina for Flute
Traveling to Boston, I was meeting up with an old friend of mine, Flute performer and Conductor Tigran Arakelyan. We had not seen each other for quite a while, due to the fact that he lived in the West Coast and I in the East Coast. Hence, when there was a chance to see Tigran on my side of the hemisphere, I quickly jumped from Rochester, N.Y. and took a bus to Boston, MA.
On the bus trip, I started to diagram the woodwind instrument theme that would later become my Sonatina for Solo Flute. This composition would have a distinct Armenian-like beginning, full of vibrant energy, in a minor key (of course), but I did not want it to feel sad. Dedicating it to Tigran was my obvious choice. I was so grateful for him giving a world premiere, conducting my “Torch” No. 1.
When we first saw each other in Boston, it was an incredible joy. We jumped like wild beasts and of course everyone was staring. Did that phase us? Heck no. We continued like little children. I had been telling Tigran that a piece with his instrument was in my plans. I wanted to write solo pieces for different instruments then my own, the Piano. What a perfect instrument to start with. Not heavy at all to carry and sounds great in any atmosphere.
When I hummed the theme to Tigran, after our jovial beginning, we then turned to an excitable moment of singing and bobbing our heads. As if we went to a Nirvana concert. I can say we both loved this theme for its happy nature and because there was an ability to do many rhythmic accents. We had a blast in Boston, laughing a lot and talking non stop. Even had an interesting Chinese restaurant experiece that we both will never forget.
Coming back home was a drag due to the happy times. Though, once at home, I knew that this theme could not be energetic the whole time. I liked my theme so much that I used it several times during the piece. But, every time, there would be a slight change in notes that made a huge difference in feel. With an excitable entrance, there had to be a beautiful, soulful melody that would stir a deep feel of Armenian tenderness.
What works in the Sonatina is that it feels like there are harmonic chords present. But, obviously, there are only single passage notes being played. This is a technique my father taught me in writing single toned compositions. Am very happy looking at the overall structure of this composition even today.
Here is a recording of Rogier de Pijper performing my Sonatina.
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