Date of this Version
British flutist Ian Clarke is currently recognized as one of the leading flutist/composers of today. His compositions have been performed at national conventions and used in competitions hosted by the British Flute Society and the National Flute Association and have been included in the Peters Edition reference of the Edexcel GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) Anthology of Music as a music example of extended instrumental techniques. Many of his works, while heavily influenced by popular music, explore unconventional sounds, using inventive avant-garde flute techniques and notations that are unfamiliar to many flutists. Since there has been little scholarly research done on Clarke and his music, the present document will be a start, focusing on two solo flute works and one flute ensemble piece.
The first chapter of this document provides biographical information about the composer, including his major influences and a list of his most significant works for flute. The following chapters provide an analysis to aid in the performance of the following works: The Great Train Race for solo flute composed in 1993, Zoom Tube for solo flute, composed in 1999, and Within… for seven flutes, composed in 1999 (all published through IC Music/Just Flutes Edition). The author has selected these specific works because they are the most representative of Clarke’s compositional style as well as the best known and the most often performed of his compositions.
Chapters II-IV begin with a brief discussion of the background and genesis of each of the three compositions, including specific remarks by the composer in his short performance guides (contained in the preface to each work) and in correspondence with the author. Each chapter gives special attention to the extended techniques in the composition examined. Further discussion includes aspects of the formal structure, unifying motives, and other prominent features of each piece. It is hoped that the information provided will be of help to the performer in clarifying the structure and style of each work, and in understanding the notation of each extended technique incorporated. The concluding chapter provides context for Clarke’s compositions and their use of extended techniques within 20th-century flute literature.