Having played with The Michael Nyman Band since the early 1980’s, I approached Michael at the beginning of 2008 about the possibility of creating a new work for unaccompanied flute. I’d already arranged and recorded three of his pieces on my solo multi-tracked albums but since acquiring my new gold Pearl flute at the end of 2007, I was looking for something to show what it (& I) were capable of.
In 1993 Michael wrote “Yamamoto Perpetuo” for solo violin. It was commissioned by Yohji Yamamoto for his fashion show that year in Paris and later turned into String Quartet No.4. My task was to turn it back into a solo performance.
I worked from the quartet score, rather than the violin solo, as it had developed into a chamber piece, with more material to use.
I realised that for what was to be over half an hour of solo flute there had to be enough varied and contrasting sounds to maintain interest for listeners, particularly those who may not be familiar with the “Nyman” style.
My chair in the band is baritone sax doubling flute & piccolo, a multiple role, sometimes driving the bass line, along with bass trombone and bass guitar, as well as playing lines with the high strings when I change to the flutes and being a part of the 3 piece sax section. I decided to apply techniques from all of these disciplines to this project.
I was also determined that this should be a performable piece, rather than a book of virtuosic studies. Stamina and breathing issues were a major concern. I have varied the order of the 11 movements from the original with this in mind.
The sheet music is available at: