Jon's Home

Jonathan Cohen's Other Music







Love Letter to Sharyn

Just Out!


"A Love Letter to Sharyn" is a celebration of Sharyn Byer's life, commissioned by Chris Potter when Sharyn entered hospice care. Sharyn was a universally-loved member of the flute community, an early and continuing adopter and exponent of low flutes and their innovations, and a source of beauty, joy, and optimism to all around her.

The contra was Sharyn's chosen instrument for playing in the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, in the International Flute Orchestra, and at conventions. Accordingly, the first movement, "Grace and Beauty", begins with, and remains underpinned by, a simple contra duet. This movement, gentle and touching and hopeful, is an homage her personal beauty and grace in every meaning of the words, and the quiet majesty that she always brought to music and music making.

The second movement, "Joy and Energy", celebrates Sharyn's irrepressible positivity, her "let’s do it!" attitude, and her infectious energy that never seemed to flag. Accordingly, the movement starts with a bang and careens joyfully with syncopation and fun.

Even if you didn't know Sharyn, this piece will help you and your audience celebrate life well lived.

Scored for 3 altos, 2 basses, 2 contras; combined performance time is about 5:15.

Watch a video of Grace and Beauty
Watch a video of Joy and Energy

Published by Tetractys Publishing






Marshal the Metal!

Just Out!


Written for the opening concert of 2nd International Low Flutes Festival, Japan 2020



This fanfare is a celebratory processional suitable for the massing of the mighty low flutes.

Scored for 3 altos, 2 basses, and contrabass, with alternate parts for other low flutes. Performance time: 1:30



Watch a video by the NFA Low Flutes Committee

Published by Tetractys Publishing






Brief Observations [for Isolated Plumbing]
nine unaccompanied solos for any size of flute

Just Out!


Bring out your plumbing – any plumbing!



This is a collection of nine little compositions for unaccompanied flute that I wrote between 2006 and 2020. They are meant to be played on any flute: honestly: I play each of them on my C flute, alto, bass, and contra.

With the possible exception of Kyrie’s Reel, they are all meant to have their tempos, dynamics, rhythms, and articulations bent by you; the indicated markings are just a suggested starting point. These pieces are meant to express your emotions, so do it.

Do you think your low flute wasn’t meant to go this high? Welcome to the wild side: your low flute will sing on those high notes and will thank you.

Don’t have a low flute? That’s fine, enjoy playing these expressively without the need for 500 notes per minute all in the third octave; the judges aren’t watching.




Watch a little video of:
 By the Brooke
 Stuck in Idyll

Listen to:
 Another Gray Day (Jon on alto)
 Another Gray Day (Jon on contra)
 At a Loss (Tim Friedlander on C flute)
 At a Loss (Jon on contra)
 By the Brooke (Jon on alto)
 By the Brooke (Jon on contra)
 Kyrie's Reel (Jon on alto)
 March Idyll (Jon on contra)
 The Social Distancing Blues (Jon on alto)
 Stuck in Idyll (Jon on contra)
 View from the Summer Porch (Jon on alto)
 When We Were Together (Jon on alto)


Published by SilverWinds Publishing






Playdates for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon


Written for the Fortunata Trio: Alicia Kosack, Laura Armstrong, and Kimberly Buchar Nolet.

Finalist in the 2020 NFA Newly-Published Music Competition


Playdates for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon is a collection of three exuberant trios guaranteed to please you and your audience.

In Stalking the Wild Catnip Mouse, a cat sees itself as an agent on a secret and delicate mission as it seeks to bring down enemy number one.

Led by the bassoon, I'm Skipping, Even If Everyone Is Watching lets our inner (and outer) kid express itself, uninhibited by the staring of jealous eyes. At least we are having fun.

But I Always Have This Much Sugar for Breakfast! is a headfirst dive into a frenetic and joyous day.

"Playdates is a delightful work.... Each ... is charming and colorful. This is an excellent addition to the limited repertoire for this ensemble." - Christina Ballatori, Flute Talk, December 2019

"... fun and full of catchy rhythmic patterns. Playdates will live up to its name for adult amateurs, high school and early college musicians." - Gregory Barrett, The Clarinet, December 2019


Scored for flute, clarinet and bassoon. Performance time: approximately 5 minutes.


Watch a performance of all three by The Fortunata Trio

Listen to recordings:
Stalking the Wild Catnip Mouse from Fortunata Trio in studio
I'm Skipping, Even If Everyone Is Watching from Fortunata Trio in studio
But I Always Have This Much Sugar for Breakfast! from a Fortunata Trio reading session


Published by Falls House Press / Theodore Pressor

Available from Carolyn Nussbaum and Flute World






Patuxent Walk

A duet for alto flute and classical guitar. Written for the Friedman-Wysong duo

Honorable Mention in the 2019 NFA Newly-Published Music Competition


Where the Patuxent River forms the boundaries between Howard and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, I took a walk. I reveled in the quiet green freedom of the outdoors. Moving down the river westward from what is now MD 97, I followed the waters as they curved through hardwood forest and rock, past mountain laurel and fern. Suddenly, the river opened into what is now the Triadelphia Reservoir. The reservoir is named for the town of Triadelphia, now at the bottom of the reservoir, surfacing only during severe droughts. But there was plenty of water that day, and the reservoir was wide, peaceful, and beautiful.

The movements:

I. Reflection at the Bend in the River: Where the Patuxent River forms the boundaries between Howard and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, I take a walk along the river. Pausing at a bend, I sit on a rock and stare into the current. I am lost in thought as my own reflections mix with those on the river.

II. Outside at Last: As I bound along the twisting path with joy, I revel in the sun on the leaves and the quiet green freedom of the outdoors.

III. The River Opens: Moving down the river westward from what is now MD 97, I follow the waters as they curve through hardwood forest and rock, past mountain laurel and fern. Suddenly, the river opens into what is now the Triadelphia Reservoir.

IV. Song for Triadelphia: This movement is a requiem for the town of Triadelphia, a thriving place in its time, home to four mills and 400 people, now at the bottom of the reservoir formed by flooding its lovely valley. Wistfully, the music recalls the lost town named for three Brooke sisters. In the middle of the movement, the music briefly returns to happier thriving days of Triadelphia, then is brought back to the present time, leaving the town to recede in tender, bitter, and sad memories.

V. Dance of the Leaves on the Water: A single leaf falls in a spiral, hesitates in an updraft, then settles on the river, where it is drawn into a jig already in progress, joining the other leaves as they rush, circle, slow, and pass each other in eddies.

Performance time: approximately 10 minutes.



Listen to a performance by Noreen Friedman and Bob Wysong:

Reflection at the Bend in the River
Outside at Last
The River Opens
Song for Triadelphia
Dance of the Leaves on the Water


Published by Tetractys Publications
Available from Flute World





Ali's Stowaway Caper

Honorable Mention in the 2019 NFA Newly-Published Music Competition




Written for Ali Ryerson to commemorate her high-school adventure in which she and two friends took an unauthorized trip across the Atlantic in style! This will be premiered at the ILFF by Ali Ryerson.
Premiered at the 2018 Internation Flute Festival.

Scored for 1 alto, 1 bass, and 1 contra.

Performance time: approximately 2:00.



Listen to a performance by Ali Ryerson (alto), Jeanette Donald (bass), and Jonathan Cohen (contra) at the 2018 ILFF



Published by Tetractys Publications
Also available from Flute Pro Shop and Flute World





One Ann Arbor Morn

Winner of the 2019 NFA Newly-Published Music Competition



A low flute trio commissioned by my friend, Deborah Rebeck Ash. Debbie and I share Ann Arbor as our home town. This piece celebrates the joy, comfort, and recolection of hometown and childhood.
Premiered at the 2018 Internation Flute Festival.

"One Ann Arbor Morn is a delightful romp of a trio for C flute, alto, and bass (or contrabass) flutes. ... Cohen keeps it fresh and fun...." - Flutist Quarterly, Summer 2019

Scored for C flute, alto, and contra.

Performance time: 7:00.


Listen to the premiere at the 2018 ILFF by Laura Benning (C flute), Deborah Rebeck Ash (alto), and Jonathan Cohen (contra):
Through The Arbor
Morningtide Promise
Agent McSquirrel and the New Feeder Caper

Published by Falls House Press / Theodore Pressor

Also available from Flute Pro Shop and from FluteWorld and Carolyn Nussbaum





Tango Molto Basso

Winner of the 2019 NFA Newly-Published Music Competition



Commissioned for the Sakura Low Flutes Choir's Opening Concert for the First International Low Flute Festival, Debbie Gilbert, Director.

Premiered in the opening concert of the 2018 Internation Flute Festival.

"Cohen's charming low flute ensemble piece, part of the publisher's International Series, was written for the opening concert of the first International Low Flute Festival in 2018. "Tango Molto Basso" uses all three octaves of the flutes' range to bring out the fire and passion of tango as the music moves between sharp staccato, fluttering, and sweeping legato triplets. The piece culminates in a contrabass cadenza before returning for a playful and impassioned finish. The work is suitable for players of all many levels and is a wonderful addition to flute choir music." - Flutist Quarterly, Summer 2019

This fun low flute ensemble tango features a contra solo in the middle!
Scored for 3 altos, 2 basses, 1 contra.

Performance time: approximately 3:30.


Watch a performance by The Lower Realm
Listen to the premiere by the 54-piece Sakura Flute Choir at the 2018 ILFF!



Published by Tetractys Publications
Also available from Flute Pro Shop and Flute World





Hurry Up Already

A quartet for low flutes. May also be played by a larger low flute ensemble.
Performed at the 2018 Internation Flute Festival.

Scored for 2 altos, 1 bass, 1 contra.

Performance time: approximately 1:20.



Listen to a performance by The Lower Realm at the 2018 ILFF



Published by Tetractys Publications
Also available from Flute Pro Shop





Metropolitan Contrarians

Winner of the 2019 NFA Newly-Published Music Competition



Composed for the contra section of the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, Paige Long, Music Director.

Premiered at the 2018 Internation Flute Festival.

"Cohen's quartet for contrabass flutes, part of the publisher’s International Series, was composed for the contra section of the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra directed by Paige Long. This quartet shows off three octaves of the contra with a jazzy infectious groove, highlighted by solo and tutti sections. The work is a great addition to the low flute repertoire. While written for four contrabass flutes, it can be played on any four equal-key instruments (four altos, four basses, etc.), which makes it a versatile piece for any library." - Flutist Quarterly, Summer 2019

Scored for 4 contras, but suitable for any 4 flutes in the same key.

Performance time: approximately 2:00.


Listen to a performance at the NFA convention by the ContraBand: Sharyn Byer, Jonathan Cohen, Marion Garver, Sheryl Porter, Maria Ramey, Claudia Brill, Sue Geddes, and Paige Dashner Long

Listen to a recording on four contras, performed by Marmara Flute Orchestra Members Ece Karşal, Özge Salar, Oktay Mercan, Simge Özer, recorded and mixed by Arda Eden and Halil İmik at Yildiz University Recording Studios, Istanbul.

Watch a questionable performance by me

Listen to the premiere by 8 contras, a subcontra in G, and a double contra at the 2018 ILFF!



Published by Tetractys Publications ... also available from Flute World and Flute Pro Shop





Albisiphonics



A Suite for Bass Flute or Albisiphon Baritono and Piano Commissioned by Peter Sheridan
The American premiere took place at the 2015 NFA Convention.

This piece for bass flute and piano was written for Peter Sheridan on the occasion of his acquiring an Albisiphon Baritono, an instrument manufactured circa 1920 and designed by Abelardo Ernesto Albisi, the principal flutist for La Scala in Milan, Italy. Albisi designed a family of such instruments with varying ranges. The Albisiphon Baritono, having essentially the same range as the modern bass flute, including a B foot, is an upright instrument with a T-shaped head and a large bore.

Albisiphonics celebrates all three octaves of the bass flute and many of its moods from the unapologetically-romantic lyrical to brash staccato syncopation to contemplative to tender to exuberant to euphoric.

All movements of this piece may be played with a conventional bass flute. A B foot is not required, but may be exploited. The movements range in difficulty, for both the flutist and the pianist, with the inner movements being the easiest. Because of the difficultly of playing some the fast percussive low parts on the piano quietly, it is likely that the flutist will want a microphone to blend well with the piano.

Although this piece was written with the bass flute in mind, it is suitable for any flute pitched in the key of C.

The movements:

I. Early Morning Departure: After being awakened by the alarm and abandoning denial, we take a frenzied gallop through the preparations at home, race to the airport — and stand, vegetative, in line. Upon at last reaching the end of the line, we again tear off in a frenzy, hoping to catch the flight in time.

II. First Star: This is clearly a song: a song of longing, introspection, and hope. It just precedes girl getting boy and boy getting girl.

III. The Unfettered Mind: When unbridled, the imagination wanders to wonderful places, inquires, addresses sublime and frivolous questions alike, and moves on, perhaps to reach an enlightened or noble state, but always refreshed.

IV. Shades Make the Musician: Peter Sheridan posted a photograph of himself wearing wraparound sunglasses and playing his alto flute. He was the very picture of cool.

Performance time: approximately 10 minutes.



Listen to the premiere by Peter Sheridan. (In the second movement, he plays his Albisiphon, which was only willing to play one octave at the time.)


Published by Nourse Wind Publications
Available from Carolyn Nussbaum and Flute World




Temperamental Triodes

Winner of the NFA 2017 Newly-Published Music Competition


Temperamental Triodes is a set of four trios for Alto, Bass, and Contra. The styles range considerably: lyrical and beautiful, bluesy, edgy and fast, wild. Listen for yourself!

Combined performance time is 8 to 9 minutes.

Listen to the 2017 NFA Convention Performance by Two Redheads and a Deadhead:
Screw Loose and Fancy Free
Embryon
Zaffer
Baroquen Red Lights
Published by Tetractys Publishing
Also available from Carolyn Nussbaum and Flute World






Legend of Llyn Llech Owain (Low Flute Ensemble Version)



Written at the Request of the NFA Low Flute Commitee for the 2015 Convention

Legend of Llyn Llech Owain (Lake of Owen's Stone) is inspired by Sir Lewis Morris's poem Llyn Owain: A Legend of the Vale of Towy and the many other stories of the lake known as Llyn Llech Owain in Wales.


Scored for 3 alto flutes, 3 bass flutes, and 2 contrabass flutes. Performance time: 4.5 minutes


Listen:
Legend of Llyn Llech Owain as premiered at the 2015 NFA Convention by the Vox Profundo Low Flutes Ensemble.

Published by Tetractys Publishing     Also available from Flute World and Carolyn Nussbaum and Flute Pro Shop






Just Below the Rainbow

Just Below the Rainbow is a collection of 7 original duets, commissioned by Peter Sheridan, written especially for any combination of low flutes (but great for C flutes as well). Each is arranged three ways, so that the two instruments can be of the same key, or the upper or lower instrument can be in G (or F) while the other is in C. The pieces cover a wide range of styles and difficulty, and will certainly capture an audience.

Combined performance time is about 20 minutes.

"This book of charming duets presents seven pieces in versions for different combinations of flutes.... the pieces are well written and enjoyable to play.... The pieces are versatile and full of character, and this makes an excellent and welcome addition to the repertoire." - Carla Rees, Flute (The Journal of the British Flute Society) September 2011


Watch:
Spider played by the Peter Sheridan and Emily Senchuk
Remembrance played by the Peter Sheridan and Emily Senchuk

Watch:
A Perfect Nine played by the composer on his contra Tiny

Listen:
A Perfect Nine played by the composer on his contra Tiny
What a Difference played by Joan Furlani and Jennifer Kirwin

And check out this great fun on bass flute and baritone saxophone:
Sao Paulo Shimmer, Just Below the Rainbow, A Perfect Nine played by Jessica Berton and Alice Bennett
Published by Falls House Press / Theodore Pressor
... also available from Carolyn Nussbaum and Flute World and Flute Pro Shop






UPDATED 7 MARCH 2021