I - Presto fluido
II - Lento dolente
Namonia Cara is a species of siphonophore. Siphonphores are sort of like jellyfish, although their structure is more amorphous. (The most infamous species is the Portuguese Man-of-War.) And as organisms go, these are pretty high up on the weirdness scale: with sacs of gas, venomous tentacles and over eighty stomachs. What really interests me about these animals, apart from their incredible beauty, is that they are not really individual beings at all, but rather cultures of beings coexisting together - a bit like the musical motives, intervallic and rhythmic patterns that bind together to form larger structures in much of my music.
This work is a response to a somewhat unusual commission from the composer and virtuoso flautist Gavin Osborn. Gavin recently acquired a bass flute, and having featured the numerous extended techniques of the instrument in one of his concerts (blowing air, multiphonics, various tongue sounds etc.), I flippantly remarked something along the lines of, 'I'd love to hear you actually play a tune on it sometime'. To my surprise, Gavin retorted that he desperately needed some repertoire that exploited the lyrical potential of the instrument, and thus asked me to write such a piece for him.
The work may also be performed on the alto flute.
Conrad Marshall Bass Flute