Sounding Platinum: Analysis and Performance of Density 21.5
Eric J. Bowling
Dr. Julianna Moore, Faculty Mentor
Although well versed in the medium of electronic tape, composer Edgar Varése employed the techniques of sound mass, shifting planes, and unconventional use of tone color in his work for solo flute, Density 21.5. Written in 1936 for George Barrére and the premiere of his platinum flute, Density 21.5 represents a continuum from harsh, bright and metallic to the soft, dark and mysterious tone colors available on the flute. The opening three-note motive appears embellished, displaced at the octave, or restated while abrupt rhythmic sub-divisions, changes of dynamics and articulation create angular contrast in the juxtaposition between the different planes of music and sound masses. The percussive key slaps Varése calls for helped pioneer using extended techniques in 20th Century music. Density 21.5 is a standard in the flute repertoire and displays the full range of abilities of a flutist. I will give a short presentation and then performance.
Keywords: Music, Flute, Varese, Sound Mass, Performance
Presentation Type: Performance Art
Location: OP Performance Hall