Bref (2014) by Linda Bouchard
for alto flute and viola
World premiere

A short word for a short piece, yet the word bref in French has many layers of meaning: succinct, anyhow, to cut a long story short.

As happens often in my music, Bref starts and ends somewhere in the middle of an ongoing story and navigates distinct layers of musical material, revealing textures that are fleeting and elusive and then strangely familiar. There is no introduction — you must jump in — and you might believe that the piece continues after you hear the last note.

Bref is a gift to Earplay on its 30th anniversary. It is easy to underestimate the absolute tour de force of making new music with live musicians and commissioning composers who push the boundaries of musical language while writing down the notes following a 19th-century tradition. This feat is even more remarkable considering how difficult it has been to find support for cutting edge music, especially during the last 10 years. Congratulations to all the Earplay musicians, the leaders and visionaries who carry the ensemble, and all the other passionate risk takers who have made the Earplay adventure possible.

— L. B.    

[from program for January 19, 2015 concert]