Sound, Spirit, & Séance: Excursions in New Music, Peter H Bloom Concert

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Rebecca DeLamotte
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Things to do near Somerville, MA » Music » Concerts

Flutist Peter H. Bloom, whose playing has been called “brightly gorgeous” (Gapplegate Music Review), “stirring and technically impressive (, "wonderfully smoky and mysterious" (EarRelevant), and "a revelation for unforced sweetness and strength" (The Boston Globe), is honored to be the recipient of an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Somerville Arts Council and the Mass Cultural Council. With the support of the Fellowship, Peter will perform a Community Benefit Concert, free and open to the public, on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 7:30 pm, at Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, 155 Powder House Boulevard, Somerville, MA 02144.  For information: 617-776-8778 or   The concert – Sound, Spirit, and Séance – will showcase diverse works written for Bloom over the last 50 years by distinguished composers Elliott Schwartz, Karl Henning, John McDonald, Marianela Maduro-Lang, Timothy Bowlby, Len Detlor, and Sean Burns, plus the premiere of Meditation XI Shakuhachi Opus 143 (2019, for alto flute alone) by Avrohom Leichtling.

Hailed for "amazing versatility" (ArtsFuse),"expansive creativity" (, and "exquisite melody" (JazzImprov), Bloom will provide an engrossing tour of wide-ranging music for concert flute, alto flute, piccolo, bass flute, baroque flute, piano, voice, crotale and kickdrum (for one performer).  Bloom will guide the audience through an array of sonic environments, exploring the colors and textures of the instruments, and the contrasting voices of the composers. The idea, says Bloom, “is to celebrate the singular sound of each piece, to evoke the spirit of each composer, and, for those composers who are no longer with us, to bring them to life through the medium of their music.”

About the Program:

 The program opens with the premiere of Av Leichtling’s piece Meditation XI Shakuhachi (Opus 143, 2019). The piece, for alto flute alone, evokes the transcendent nature of the Japanese shakuhachi, with its complex associations from Zen meditation to martial arts.

 In Aiko (1981), Marianela Maduro-Lang uses the singular voice of the traverso, delicate, nuanced, and multi-hued, to create an imagined musical world that is at once magnetic and ephemeral.

 Timothy Bowlby’s Laurels (2018) explores the sonic possibilities of flute, alto flute and piccolo in a soundscape that is spacious yet pointillistic – the line of music are like glints on an ocean wave.

 Ed (2015) by Sean Burns is a dramatic scena, portraying a man in conflict with a parasitic face on the back of his head. The performer, Janus-like, faces in two directions as once, as multiple flutes, voice and kickdrum, convey the turmoil of the artist and the perpetual dialogue of self-doubt.

 In Five Bloomers and Four Shoes (2011), John McDonald gives us nine charming sonic scenes for flute alone, dance-like and lyrical.  Bloom calls the piece “a refreshing sorbet course after the intense drama of Ed.”

 Airy Distillates, a 2011 work by Karl Henning, exploits the marvelous bass flute sonorities to conjure up a chemical reaction, musical molecules bounding and bonding and evanescing.

 Song for Eric Dolphy (1977), a gift to Peter from his dear departed colleague Len Detlor, is an evocation, séance-like, of the genius and virtuosity of composer and woodwind master Dolphy, while also calling forth the spirit of Detlor, himself a fine composer/flutist/saxophonist, whom Bloom imagines sharing the stage.

 The concert finale is Soliloquy III by Elliott Schartz, a tour-de-force by this esteemed American composer, at once humorous and provocative, exploring multi-faceted relationships among composer, performer, instruments, stage, and audience. 

About Peter H. Bloom:  

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Bloom has concertized in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and is featured on 48 recordings from labels including Sony Classical, Navona Records, Sono Luminus, Leo, and others. He is contributing editor for Noteworthy Sheet Music, and is a winner of the American Musicological Society’s Noah Greenberg Award.  He’s performed with such noted artists as Ensemble Chaconne, Ensemble Aubade, Henning Ensemble, D’Anna Fortunato, and The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra (51st season).  Bloom began his career in 1969, performing ground-breaking adventurous music with Mark Harvey, and established impressive credentials in diverse genres (chamber music from the Renaissance to the 21st century; exploratory jazz and free improvisation; jazz standards, blues, bebop, and pan-Latin soundscapes).  Bloom has performed in London, Bangkok, Canberra, Wellington, Ottawa, and other world capitals, and in hundreds of cities across 40 states and four continents.  Collaborations with composers and premieres of new works written for him have featured prominently in these tours.,-Spirit,-&-Séance:-Excursions-in-New-Music,-Peter-H-Bloom-Concert

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155 Powder House Blvd
Somerville, MA 02144


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