1986, 14:00

Two Amplified Flutes

Written for John Fonville and Anne La Berge


The highlight (…) is Dramm’s “By,” for two amplified flutes. The soft breathing sounds and sudden attacks shift from left to right in a synergy which makes it very difficult to distinguish between the two players — delectable.

  • François Couture, All Music Guide

Programme notes

“by” for Two Amplified Flutes (1986) immerses itself in the formal and sonorous interconnections and contradictions between noise and resonance. The invention of roles for these relationships to play consists mainly of repacking their respective cultural baggage which we call style.

A style may be subverted and hybridized by expanding its codes to include elements which work against its own tendencies. A retuned pattern music slowly develops only to be subjected to awkward erasures, sudden collapses, abortive attempts to reset itself, reduced finally to a microtonal whimper in a massive detuning passage encrusted with phonemes, flutter-tonguing and pitch bends. “by” is a music motivated by the insemination of residue, decay, and seepage in its weakest state; in the last moments of a breath or in the conceit of a nearly completed pattern. The saprophytic character of such a program results in extended transitions in which the next music embeds itself in the mannerisms of the present one.