Wings to Air







premiered by

Meerenai Shim, flute (Center for New Music, San Francisco, California)

commissioned by

Natalie Haworth-Liu

Wings to Air


Wings to Air for Solo Flute (2013) was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, Natlie Haworth-Liu. Flutist Meerenai Shim gave the premiere performance on November 13, 2020 at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. The piece loosely follows the emotional trajectory of the grieving and healing process.

The first movement weaves together the harsh rhythmic pattern of the spoken phrase, “What did you say?” with gentle melodic reminders of kind words spoken in the past, acting as a musical equivalent to a bargaining tool. Caged was inspired by an anonymous painting, which powerfully depicts a woman in a dark room looking out through a heavily paned window to the bright exterior world. For me, this painting effectively expressed the desire to re-engage with the world, without knowing the best way to move forward. The core melodic materials for the third movement, Sleep. Rest. Quietly. come from a lullaby I sing to my daughter each evening to nurture and reassure her. The bird-like melodic materials of the final movement, Flight Risk, represent a “working through” initial grief to find new freedom. Many thanks to Natalie Haworth-Liu and Meerenai Shim for their artistic support. Duration, ca. 12:00

– notes by the composer, Andrea Reinkemeyer