Flute and Piano

Daniel Carr


Megan Gardner, soprano

Discover Series - World Premiere Recordings



“...impressive... Carr has arrived at a style grounded in the 21st century yet clear­ly distinct from the avant-garde. He decidedly rejects what was once a modernist staple, folding himself firmly in the arms of tonality and the realm of melody... François Mi­naux, in collaboration with pianist Mayumi Tayake, does a su­perb job with these pieces. His pure tone and command of less traditional flute techniques allow him to make music with even the simplest of melodies... The more [Carr] pushes the envelope of traditional tonality and rhythmic stability, the more captivating his music becomes. His future projects aim to explore other instrumental combinations. With what we’ve seen in his writing for the flute, however, we must hope this is not the last time the flute community hears from composer Daniel Carr.”
Jennifer Slaughter, Flutis Quarterly [Spring 2016]
“[American composer Daniel Carr] writes with great facility in a very accessible style... there is also a gutsy 20-minute sonata that indulges in a most delightful primativism... Francois Minaux and Mayumi Tayake are magnificent players who do this music justice”
Gorman, American Record Guide [March/April 2016]
“François Minaux and Mayumi Tayake do a fine job with these mostly mild, generally easy-to-listen-to works. Some are bright (Sonata for Yumi), others evocative (Foliage, Still, Three Nocturnes)... the flute writing is fine throughout, allowing Minaux plenty of places to breathe and numerous opportunities for expressiveness... it is nice to hear a disc on which a contemporary composer uses the flute with an understanding of its capabilities rather than a determination to force the instrument and its player beyond their respective comfort zones... a very satisfying listening experience by inviting listeners to hear nicely tailored performances of some well-mannered contemporary music – engaging, convivial and aurally gratifying.”
Mark J. Estren, [November 2015]
As a composer, one of the best ways to learn how to write for an instrument is to learn how to play the instrument, or at least to listen to music written for it while following along with a score. I am fortunate to be related to three flautists - my sister Debby, my brother-in-law François Minaux (the flautist on this recording) and my wife, Yumi – which has provided me a unique opportunity to learn about this versatile instrument. I was (and still am) an amateur pianist and had played very little chamber music before accompanying Yumi in Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits nearly 15 years ago. It is one of my fondest musical memories, as it was the first time we played together. Over the years, we worked through many pieces together which helped me increase my knowledge and appreciation of flute and its varied repertoire. I began composing for flute and piano, and over the next 10-or-so years completed the works heard on this recording. In these pieces, I have tried to make the piano an equal partner – not merely an accompaniment – to the flute, and have made full use of the flute in terms of color, texture and technique. While these pieces are officially for “flute and piano”, I will always think of them as works for Yumi and Dan – as so much of my inspiration comes from her, and from our playing together.

A native of Providence, Rhode Island, composer Daniel Carr creates music that has been described as being “undoubtedly of the 21st century”. His work is often highly virtuosic, yet retains the lyricism, driving rhythm and colorful harmonies that audiences delight in hearing and musicians enjoy playing. Carr grew up in a musical home, where both parents and all of his siblings were musical. His father was a piano tuner and technician, so there were always several pianos, organs and other instruments throughout the home. It was not unusual for several family members to be playing pieces in completely different genres on different instruments in different rooms throughout the house at the same time. Fortunately, there were also times when the family played together in ensembles, inspiring Carr’s lifelong love of chamber music. Although Carr played violin and piano when he was young, he did not become interested in music composition until his mid-20s. His primary music teachers were his mother, pianist Naomi Carr, and Dr. Donald Rankin of the University of Rhode Island. Carr also completed courses in Finance in 1995, and from 1995 to 1997 lived in Lesotho as a Peace Corps Volunteer. [ ]

Flautist François Minaux is involved in performing and commissioning new music, with a particular focus on world events, modern psychology and socio-political issues. His goal is to reach an audience dedicated to these matters while also wishing to be entertained. He is currently writing the libretto for a new chamber opera based on the Secret War in Laos. Minaux specializes in performing and recording accessible contemporary music. Ongoing collaboration and experimentation with choreographers, painters, actors, composers, videographers, journalists and ethnomusicologists have led him to create multi-media performances. He has performed at numerous contemporary music festivals, including the Fast Forward New Music Festival, New Music Co-op and at the 798 Art District in Beijing. Collaborators have included Michelle Schumann, line upon line percussion, SO Percussion, the Aeolus Quartet and the Laredo Philharmonic with whom he performed the Liebermann Flute Concerto. Minaux performs and records on an electro-acoustic flute and composes works for this new instrument. He has also collaborated with Parmenon Flutes and Robert Dick to build an amplified glissando head joint that he uses with electronic effects. These developments on the modern flute have allowed him to fuse classical, folk music and progressive rock. Born in Paris, Minaux studied music at the Paul Dukas Municipal Conservatory there, holds an MM degree from the Yale School of Music and a DMA from the University of Texas. In addition to performing, he teaches flute and chamber music in the Austin area. [ ]

Recognized for her musical sensitivity and delicate touch, pianist Mayumi Tayake is in demand as a soloist and collaborating musician. Winner of numerous awards and competitions, Tayake has received honors at the 68th Young Musicians Concert Series, which led to a performance at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; Grand Rapids Symphony Concerto Competition followed by a performance with the orchestra; and a Michigan Music Teachers Association competition, after which she performed for guest conductor Phillipe Entremont. She was also winner of the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle Competition, and subsequently toured in Washington state. Tayake has served as the pianist for several orchestras and chamber groups, including the Seattle Modern Orchestra, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Trio Seattle and the Harvard Trio. She has performed for Yefim Bronfman, Boris Berman, Sergei Babayan, Margaret Leng-Tang, Richard Morris and Jon Kimura Parker in the master class setting. A strong advocate for new music, Tayake frequently performs music written after 1950. She is also founder of an experimental music group, Music Storytelling, which works with mixed media and unusual instrumentation to spark children’s interest in music. Tayake’s early training was with Yong Hi Moon. Later, she studied with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music, James Streem at Florida State University and Craig Sheppard at the University of Washington. [ ]

Megan Gardner studied classical voice, piano, and harp in her hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta, before earning a BA degree in Music from Westminster Choir College. During her time at Westminster, Gardner sang in thirteen states as part of five ensembles. She has performed in operas and oratorios in New Jersey and South Carolina, and with professional choirs at Marble Collegiate Church and Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York. She has also sung professionally with the Magi Ensemble, the Dickens Carolers and the Byrd Ensemble.
DANIEL CARR (b.1972)
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MSR Classics