After the Paris attacks in November 2015 I felt a strong calling to bring socially conscious art into the world. The #WeBringFlowers project is a journey commissioning six composers to write works for flute and piano that either revolt against, or courageously confront the violence that is prevalent in modern society.

I was inspired after hearing a conversation between a father and his son following the Paris attacks. The toddler was understandably scared of what happened close to his home and was telling the reporter that his whole family would have to leave Paris. As people were putting down flowers for the victims, the father explained that flowers were more powerful than guns and that the flowers were there to protect them. The poise and courage that the father displayed will stay with me forever. I named the project after the concept of taking something beautiful and non-threatening and turning it into something that holds a tremendous amount of power.

The #WeBringFlowers project has gained attention by being one of 107 awardees out of 1229 applications for the New Music USA grants! More information here: New Music USA – We Bring Flowers

The first commission by Amanda Harberg was premiered at the National Flute Association Convention in Minneapolis, MN this year with the composer at the piano.

The project is fully funded and all composers have been identified to complete the recital of socially conscious works. They are, in alphabetical order:

Joseph Z. Adams (http://josephzadams.com)
Nathan Hall (https://nathan-hall.net)
Paul Hanmer (https://soundcloud.com/paul-hanmer/sarabande-for-the-days-of-the-sundog)
Amanda Harberg (http://amandaharberg.com)
Joel Puckett (http://joelpuckett.com)
Jared Redmond (https://www.jaredredmond.com)

The culmination of these commissions will be a tour with my duo partner Doreen Lee, presenting the complete recital of commissions. The tour will conclude with a Carnegie Hall recital in New York City. I heard from Joseph Z. Adams that he is composing a 3 minute piece for bass flute and piano titled ‘Misinterpreted Cries’ that speaks to animal abuse and the illegal practice of shark finning. Joel Puckett is reworking his piece for flute and Wind Ensemble ‘Knells for Bonnie’ which speaks to living a life of service to others. He will also be adding a supporting piece to compliment this already beautiful work. Amanda Harberg embraced physical activity as a means to clear her head from troubling events and used racket ball as her inspiration for Court Dances. Nathan Hall’s piece, A Room of Quiet’ for piccolo, alto flute and piano incorporates narration of text by Dag Hammarskjöld, the Swedish civil servant who created the United Nations.

Court Dances was birthed by a consortium commission of 57 flutists from China, South America and the United States. Here is a list of all the co-comissioners:

Asako Arai; Claudia Anderson; Christine Erlander Beard; Bel Canto Flute Academy; Danielle Breisach; Cindy Anne Broz; Elizabeth Buck; Jenny Cline; Sheryl Cohen; Cady Coleman; Julietta Curenton; Monica Daniel-Barker; Susan Davis; Michelle Demko; James Donahue; Penny Douglas; Brian Dunbar; Katherine Emeneth; Jill Felber; Janet Fitchuk; Brad Garner; Lisa Garner Santa; Eileen Grycky; Paula Gudmundson; Christine Gustafson; Kristin Hayes; Lois Bliss Herbine; Kim Hickey; Emily Kaplan; Jennifer Keeney; Robert Langevin; Stephen Lee; Eric Leise; Nadine Luke; Carolyn May; James Miller; Mary Beth Norris; September Payne; George Pope; Gretchen Pusch; Karen Johnson; Lucian Rinando; Beth Ross Buckley; Geri Rotella-Rotter; Silver Flight Ensembles and Foundation; Laura Schulkind; Nickolas Stavros; Kate Steinbeck; Wendy Stern; Julie Duncan Thornton; Phiroze Titina; Megan Trach; Jim Walker; Susan Waller; Mila M. Weiss; Tammy Evans Yonce; Alan Zaring

In addition to the great success of the consortium commission, I received word from Peter Westbrook, the Editor-in-Chief at www.flutejournal.com, that the article about the #WeBringFlowers project has been read over 2000 times. Here is the link: Flute Journal: We Bring Flowers

Stay tuned for more updates!