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Morlock - Ornithomancy for flute and orchestra

from A Quinary by Vancouver Island Symphony

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Ornithomancy for Flute and Orchestra – Jocelyn Morlock
Paolo Bortolussi, flute

Ornithomancy is the practice of divination by observing the activity and flight patterns of birds. Though I’m not convinced of their ability to predict the future, I have a long-held fascination with birds of all kinds. Their energy, flight and songs are beautiful and strange, and thus a fertile subject for a flute concerto.
Ornithomancy is a single-movement piece, about 15 minutes long, in three roughly equal sections. The first section is slower and more mysterious than the rest of the piece — it is somewhat sneaky, and the music is quite chromatic. The second section is fast and nervous (one might say flighty), rhythmically punchy and precise. In the final section, there is a sense of expansion, flight, and reverie. In keeping with the idea of bird-like flocking activities, rather than one extended cadenza, it features short solos and soloistic playing from numerous members of the orchestra.

JOCELYN MORLOCK came to classical music in late adolescence, by way of the film Amadeus, and felt like she’d passed through a magic portal. Since then, she’s been inviting herself into the musical worlds of great western art music composers of the past, and making herself at home. Jocelyn’s music is inspired by birds, insomnia, nature, fear, other people’s music, nocturnal wandering thoughts, lucid dreaming, or a peculiar combination thereof. She is grateful to collaborate with visionary flutist Paolo Bortolussi, who spearheaded the Canadian Concerto Project, and to whom Ornithomancy is dedicated, and the Vancouver Island Symphony under Pierre Simard. Morlock won the 2018 Juno for Classical Composition of the Year for her work, My Name is Amanda Todd, an elegy for and celebration of the life of Amanda Todd, a young woman whose message of hope, empathy, and tolerance has since caused a worldwide groundswell of support and awareness of bullying, cyber abuse and internet safety. She believes in the proliferation of positive energy that a large group of people can create together through many small actions. www.jocelynmorlock.com

Flutist PAOLO BORTOLUSSI is a soloist, chamber artist, and new music pioneer. Dedicated to championing music by living composers, he has premiered over 175 works for flute, including concerti written for him by Dorothy Chang, Jocelyn Morlock, and Aaron Gervais. Paolo is artistic director of the Nu:BC Collective, a new music ensemble in residence at the University of British Columbia. Firmly established as one of the premier interpreters of contemporary music in Western Canada, Nu:BC has performed at festivals across Canada, the US and Asia, and has premiered works by some of Canada’s leading composers including Brian Cherney, Gabriel Dharmoo, Michael Oesterle, Chris Paul Harman, Dorothy Chang, Owen Underhill, Aaron Gervais, John Oliver, Edward Top, Keith Hamel, and many more. Beyond Shadows, Nu:BC’s debut CD, as well as Paolo’s recent solo release, Israfel, have received multiple nominations at the Western Canadian Music Awards.
Raised in Halifax, Dr. Bortolussi is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Indiana University School of Music. He serves on the faculties of the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Trinity Western University, and has presented masterclasses across North America as well as in Korea and Taiwan. Paolo is principal flutist of the Vancouver Island Symphony where he is the driving force behind the Canadian Concerto Project, which has commissioned, premiered, and recorded five new concerti by Canadian composers for principal players of the orchestra. www.paolobortolussi.com


from A Quinary, released March 14, 2020


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