Coming Up for Air is a project which explores the creative possibilities that emerge when pieces are limited to a single breath. The project was initially inspired by the performances of two works for solo flute which both feature extreme breath manipulation and control; Brian Ferneyhough's Unity Capsule and Alvin Lucier's Self Portrait for Flute & Wind Anemometer. I also faced my own respiration limitations through a chronic sinus condition and a recent asthma diagnosis, serious issues for a flautist.
These conditions made playing the flute painful and extremely frustrating at the point where I had just completed an MMus and International Artist Diploma at the Royal Northern College of Music. It forced me to take music one breath at a time.
In order to continue playing, I required a sinus operation. Without the generous support of Help Musicians UK to have the operation privately, I would have had to wait several years and may have had to change my career path. The procedure was successful and has transformed my flute playing and quality of breathing.
The first set of new single-breath pieces will be unveiled on Wednesday 7 June, Islington Mill, Salford. http://www.islingtonmill.com/
My upcoming performance is an opportunity to raise funds to give back to the wonderful charity Help Musicians UK to support their vital work for musicians and music organisations. Without their help, I would certainly not be in the position to perform such demanding works like these.
My goal is to raise £500 and I currently have 16 new one-breath pieces. That makes each breath worth £31.25.
Sponsor a full breath: £31.25
An inhale or an exhale: £15.62
A gulp: £10
A gasp: £5
A puff: £3
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