Ian Clarke


‘Touching The Ether’ for flute and piano (8’- 8’50”) composed by Ian Clarke

Programme Notes:

‘Touching the Ether’ (piano & flute) was premiered at the 2006 Woldingham International Summer School (UK) and then at the 2006 British Flute Society’s International convention, Manchester.  The US premiere’s were made in November 2006 by Ian at the University of Northern Iowa with subsequent performances in Dallas & Seattle

It was the piece performed by the 2012 BFS young artist winner as his chosen work. It has been performed by leading players such as Wissam Boustany, Lorna McGee, Amy Porter and William Bennett OBE.  Increasingly it is becoming an increasingly popular music college work with flute players who are becoming ever comfortable acquiring the the language of the piece.

This work could be said to fall loosely into the same category as previous flute & piano works such as 'Orange Dawn'  and Spiral Lament'  i.e. mans’ relationship with the natural world.  In this case it reflects upon countless lateral and eternal connections between people; between each other across the world and through generations stretching both back and forwards in time.  This is viewed both through the personal prism of close relationships, and a wider feeling of the fluidity of the complex consequential interactions around us.  It attempts to glimpse at these ripples of action and reaction, both direct and indirect, which may be perceived to fade and coalesce, or may be viewed as what I call ‘time dominoes’ whose effect could be of a quite different nature.  It is a feeling of touching the ether.

Performance Notes:

Most of the performance directions are contained within the score.  There is further explanation of some of the non-standard techniques in the performance notes section at the end of the score.  

Edition 1 clarifications:

Bar 84 should have D naturals.  This is marked on most copies in pencil and is logical from the sequence 81-82 in relation to 83-84  In bar 9 the B ¼ flat should read B ¾ flat so is just a slight bend with the open hole of A key.  This is not marked in the 1st Edition copies although will be logical given the marking at the end of the bar.

Ian Clarke

1st Edition 2008