FEATURED: "Breeze for Flute and Piano" (2023)
“Breeze” for Flute and Piano (2023)
By Mary Ellen Haupert (b.1960)
“Breeze” was written for flutist Iva Ugrčić and pianist Satoko Hayami for the Out of Our Minds Chamber Music performance of music by women composers on November 4, 2023.
The work was inspired by the sounds of lapping water, loon calls, and wind carried off the shores of Minnesota’s Lake Pokegama, where our family has a summer cabin. Loons are social migratory birds that communicate with each other via wails (calls to one another), tremolos (warnings to others about impending danger), yodels (territorial demonstrations), and coo-ing (quiet contentment). The opening of “Breeze” is a yodel in D Major that dissolves into a lapping piano accompaniment – the backdrop for a measured loon soliloquy. The piano restates the loon tune with the flute echoing in canon.
The loon echoes dissipate in an undulating transition to a B section featuring the traditional Irish tune, St. Columba, first published by George Petrie in 1855. The tune is presented in D Mixolydian over a repeated bass line that is meant to evoke the rhythmic paddling of a canoe. As the tune ends, the “loons” pick up their own improvisation over the bass line, again in canon. There are only slight alterations in the closing section, casting “Breeze” in a balanced ABA’ form.