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A Preview of Jonathan Cohen's Music
in the Publication Pipeline

For Flute Choir

Blueshift Red

Winner of the 2020 NFA Flute Choir Composition Competition

Commissioned by the West Michigan Flute Orchestra, Julie Sooy, Director.

We have all experienced a noisy vehicle going by rapidly and hearing a raised pitch as the vehicle approaches and a lowered pitch as it recedes. This Doppler shift manifests itself in light, as well: light from stars approaching us has its frequency raised, shifting it to the blue end of the spectrum; light from receding stars is shifted to the red. The title, then, refers to something passing quickly.

Blueshift Red is a happy jazz piece in a '50s style, with extended techniques used to give the sensation of things zooming by.

Scored for piccolo, 4 C flutes, alto, bass, and contrabass (and/or string bass), it is a little over 2 minutes of fun for performers and audience.

Grow as a River

Commissioned by DCflutes in Celebration of their Tenth Anniversary, Aaron Goldman and Sandra Ragusa, Conductors.

This piece describes the life of a river from inception to maturity. It begins with tenuous drops from melting ice, slowly forming into a brook that playfully dances around rocks and over bumps until it becomes a majestic and peaceful flow. The idyll is shattered by a raging waterfall, the erratic motion and anarchy and terror are gradually replaced by the exhilaration and then peace of motion and arrival. Finally, there is proud celebration in the power and accomplishment and future of the fully mature river.

The story of the river is a metaphor for all successful maturation journeys, of course—both those of people and those of institutions such as DCflutes, who find themselves at a point of reflection at this anniversary.

The composer was inspired to write this piece by his visit to Goðafoss, a waterfall of awe, beauty, power, and history, located near Akureyri, Iceland.

Scored for pic, 4 C flutes, alto, bass, and contrabass. Performance time: 7:20

For Low Flute Large Ensemble

Big Flutes Happen Here

Written for the Sunday Gala of NFA's 2020 Convention

In Dallas, they say "Big things happen here". One of those big things this year is big flutes. This is a fun piece to celebrate the larger members of the flute family in a big rockin' way, complete with extended techniques.

Scored for 3 altos, 2 basses, and contrabass, with alternate parts for other low flutes. Performance time: 3:45

For Low Flute Small Ensembles

Prayer for a Damaged World

This is an intimate soliloquy of shared pain, acknowledgment, and hope. The piece begins in a quiet minor, slowly building in intensity and register, reaching a point of peace, then resolving in major key and a feeling of hope.

The composer was inspired to write this piece by the circumstances around the pandemic and the many other worrisome aspects of the world's state.

Scored for any flute pitched in C (especially bass and contra) and piano. Performance time: 2:30

Watch and listen to the composer playing Prayer for a Damaged World

For Other Ensembles