Erhu-Flute (2011) · 9 min (in six movements)

for flute and 4-speaker audio

flute, fixed media (Mac laptop running Max/MSP)

Written for Orlando Cela

Program Note

Erhu-Flute was composed while I was a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in residence at the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing, China, during Fall 2011. It was first performed at CCOM on September 17, 2011, by Orlando Cela, flute, and reprised at Beijing’s celebrated live venue Yugong Yishan on October 30, 2011. The 4-speaker audio accompaniment is derived solely from Chinese erhu samples that were reversed, transposed, chopped up into small parts, and time stretched. Each movement was “sketched” as a freestanding electroacoustic work, which, in turn, served as the basis for deriving the flute part. In live performance, the flutist listens to a click track, which aids in keeping the solo in sync with the 4-speaker audio (all played back via Max/MSP).

On October 25, 2011, I was invited by Marc Battier to offer a presentation titled “An Approach to Using Chinese Traditional Instruments as Source Material for Electroacoustic Music Composition,” at the 5th EMSAN/CEMC Symposium (Electroacoustic Music Studies Asia Network / Center for Electronic Music of China). This full-day event took place as part of the Musicacoustica Festival at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In my presentation, I discussed how I use Chinese traditional instruments to open up a rich world of sound sources and performance techniques that greatly broadened my approach to acoustic and electroacoustic music composition. Erhu-Flute was the focus of this presentation, and was later included in the EMSAN database, a collection of electroacoustic music that focuses on East Asia.

View Score

Erhu-Flute was recorded by Orlando Cela, flute; at the studio of Joel Gordon in Watertown, MA, on August 12, 2013. It was officially released by Albany Records (TROY1710) on Anthony Paul De Ritis: Electroacoustic Music – In Memoriam: David Wessel on April 1, 2018.

Excerpt from a rehearsal of Erhu-Flute (movement IV) by Anthony Paul De Ritis, for flute and electronics, Dr. Sarah Jane Young, flute, at jemFEST, the Jacksonville Electroacoustic Music Festival, University of North Florida, Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, November 20, 2021.
Concert Program