Nathan Davis: pneApnea (2007)

  • Performance Date: 2009
  • Season: 2009-10
  • Series: ICE Solo
  • Composer Name: Nathan Davis
  • Composer URL:
  • Performers: Claire Chase, flute
  • Duration: 8' 46"

Composer's Notes

pneApnea is a journey through different types of breathing: panic, athletic, and meditative. The electronics serve to exaggerate these characters and the alto flute's reaction to the breath (pnea) and breathlessness (apnea) of its player. The piece is partly inspired by an experience I had diving in Bali, when an intense fear of drowning was replaced by an incredible experience of wonder. The percussive sounds and all control of electronics are performed live by the flutist who, like a diver, is immersed in another world while also keeping track of the vital practicalities of air supply, time, and depth. It was written for Claire Chase in 2007 and owes its range to her fearlessness.