Bartók, Béla Viktor János
Bennet, Richard Rodney
Bozza, Eugène Joseph
Dahl, Walter Ingolf Marcus
Del Tredici, David
Griffes, Charles Tomlinson
Guarnieri, Mozart Camargo
Hanson, Howard Harold
Hüe, Georges Adolphe
Jirák, Karel Boleslav
Kennan, Kent Wheeler
La Montaine, John
Williams, Ralph Vaughan
R. Aitken: "Plainsong" for solo flute was written in 1977 in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The idea of the piece comes from parallel fourths and fifths, typical for medieval plainsongs, with the possibility of enhancing an organum effect while simultaneously playing the flute and singing. Besides, it is possible to sound two notes an octave apart at the same time by controlling the air column. The "Plainsong" was premiered by Robert Aitken in Paris, at the Center Georges Pompidou.
"I composed the "Plainsong" for solo flute in 1977 for the opening of IRCAM (Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music) in Paris. During this opening week of concerts, there were different musicians in different rooms throughout the Conservatory where the public could go from room to room and listen to various performers as well as exchange ideas about the music among themselves.
And one of the topics was "What is it like to be a soloist today?"
And it is quite different to be a soloist in 1977 and now.
Because we have so many different styles we have to deal with. You may have to play jazz, amplified flute, or various noises, or even you may have to play on the end of the flute.
In 1977 we were supposed to write a piece for a specific occasion and I wrote "Plainsong" because I just discovered that it's possible to play two notes at the same time on the flute. And I used a tune from the old Grigorian chant"
You can listen/watch Robert's story by yourself or listen "Plainsong" live performance that starts at 02:26.
Robert Aiken (1939) is a Canadian composer, conductor and flutist who has studied with Nicolas Fiore, Marcel Moyse, Jean-Pierre Rampal etc. During his very successful solo carrier, Aiken has made more than 70 recordings. As a composer Aitken has written numerous compositions which are based on his experience as a skilled performer.
In 2009 Aitken received the prestigious Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, the Canada’s largest arts award. Among his most notable compositions: Concerto for Twelve Solo Instruments and Orchestra, various chamber music compositions, and works for flute.