Sean William Calhoun | Composer and pianist

Conjuration, for solo bass (or alto) flute (2018) – 5'30"

Conjuration was composed for the flutist Daniela Mars. Daniela specializes in bass flute, and one of my favorite aspects of the bass flute is how naturally the low register overblows, throwing off flickering harmonics. That became a prominent part of this piece, beginning with slow, ceremonial gestures which coalesce into a melody. Parts of the melody develop, beginning hushed and mysterious, then becoming increasingly urgent as the melody attempts to re-form, leading to a radiant conclusion.

Performance note: Conjuration is intended for bass flute, but it probably would still be effective on an alto flute (using the same written pitches), if a bass is unavailable. An ordinary C flute is likely to be too stable in the low register and thus unlikely to produce the intended sounds as well as lower flutes.