Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Earlier this year, Christine Draeger commissioned me to compose a new work especially for Fluteworthy’s Ensemble Workbook. This book caters to flautists from Grade 4 to diploma level seeking to perform repertoire for two, three or four flutes, with styles ranging from the Renaissance to the contemporary. Secret Signals is not only my first commissioned composition but also my first professionally published score.
Secret Signals is a duet for flutes or piccolos constructed using difference tones. This is what I wrote about the piece in the Ensemble Workbook:
When flutes or piccolos play particular intervals in their upper register, a third lower note can be heard. This note is a difference tone, created through the interaction between different intervals in the harmonic series. The challenge of Secret Signals is to the play in tune and listen carefully to the extra notes that are produced, some of which have been notated in the score.
It was a pleasure to workshop this piece with Christine and with Dorothy Wu, experimenting with a variety of intervals to find the strongest difference tones. Secret Signals is one of the more challenging pieces in the Ensemble Workbook given the precision of intonation required.
Flautists and flute teachers can now order this book via Fluteworthy’s website.