Flutist Lindsey Goodman presents her second album, RETURNING TO HEIGHTS UNSEEN, the follow up studio recording to 2016’s FOLLOWING HER REACH THROUGH THE SKY. Goodman is a budding composer’s dream -- interpreting new music with impeccable style and tenacity.
Goodman grasps the listeners attention right away with Roger Dannenberg’s “Separation Logic” for flute and live computer processing (2013). In this futuristic work it is the listener’s responsibility to determine what is real and what is imagined as his ears are fed short melodic phrases that have been electronically manipulated. Every sound is crucial--even the echoes of the instrument’s keys clasping against their pads.
It’s this sort of electronic genius that allows Goodman to play a duet with herself in the second track, David Stock’s “A Wedding Prayer” for 2 flutes (2004), stark and striking. In Tony Zilincik’s “I Asked You” for solo flute and mixed media, Goodman competes with samples of spoken text and percussion riffs in “Everything I Love.” “I Play Music” boasts a similar challenge, but without percussion and with the addition of the atmospheric pads of a modern synthesizer and the sound of ocean waves. The flute melody is a native chant of sorts and its meditative nature immediately sends all other sounds to the background. Goodman demonstrates dexterous lip-trills that rival the wing speed of a hummingbird.
Elainie Lillios’s “Sleep’s Undulating Tide” for flute in C and live, interactive electroacoustics (2016) seems to be a continuation of the previous Zilincik track, until the entrance of a ghostly mezzo-soprano voice--the flutist’s herself. The listener is immediately transported into a dark tunnel or cave, and can hear, but not see, many unidentifiable creatures of the night.
Next is Linda Kernohan’s “Demon:Daemon,” a performance art piece in which the flutist is both musician and actor as she is seemingly possessed by an evil spirit. Randall Woolf’s The Line of Purples for flute and pre-recorded electronics (2015) is the least harmonically experimental of the works so far, but perhaps the most complex to categorize. It begins as a popular rock anthem but journeys into a classical chamber work and then back again. Roger Zahab’s “Suspicion of Nakedness,” is perhaps a reference to the shameful moment after the Fall in the Garden of Eden when God asks Adam and Eve “who told you you were naked”? The awkwardness is felt through the tentative phrases of the flute melody interspersed with unsure pauses and rhythmic anxiety and hurriedness. This work ends abruptly to give way for Judith Shatin’s “For the Fallen” for amplified flute and electronics (2017). Here the listener must decide who is fallen--Adam and Eve? A young soldier? Or the listener herself? Here Goodman offers the entire spectrum of possible flute sounds and colors though an electronic backdrop of dark chimes, pipes, gongs, and cymbals.
This masterfully mixed album is a must-have for any new music or electronic music savant.