Frayda Osten was a dynamic and multitalented person. Among many other accomplishments, she founded the Brannen Cooper fund in cooperation with Bickford Brannen and the Brannen Cooper Flute Company. This fund has underwritten numerous pieces for flute and particularly for flute choir.
This piece's name is taken from the Brannen Cooper Company's address, located on Dragon Court in Woburn, Massachusetts.
The Concertante is in three movements and features eight different number of soloists in each movement, accompanied by a larger ensemble of regular, alto, bass, and optional contrabass flutes. The first movement is rather syncopated, with numerous voices moving at a lively clip. The second has a little melody that moves against soft, opposing triads and moves toward a climax of courts rising together like a wind. The last movement features a repeating pattern of seven with playful riffs answering back-and-forth above it.
Kyrie is a series of free variations on Kyrie fons bonitatis, as found in the Liber Usualis, an official Catholic book of chant based on historical sources. 'Kyrie eleison' is Greek for 'Lord, have mercy upon us' and serves as the first section of a mass.
The sound of several flutes playing unison Gregorian chant very softly has haunted me since I first heard it some years ago. When I was commissioned by the Tucson Flute Club this beautiful sound came to mind, and it led me to write this piece. The Kyrie fons bonitatis has an unusual form, with a two-part refrain. This refrain echos throughout my piece, and, after wandering far afield, brings it to a quiet close.
Mariposas is the Spanish word for butterflies. The piece loosely follows stages of butterflies' short and glorious existence, from cuckoo to larvae to free flight; hovering, swooping, floating. It was written for Pamela Youngblood from Texas Woman's University.
In response to the USA's 2003 invasion of Iraq, with inspiration from the quote from A. J. Muste, 'There is no way to peace; peace is the way.'
In this arrangement for multi-flutes of the original treble chorus setting, a four-note phrase, 'Peace is the Way,' is layered repeatedly, one after another, throughout the eight parts, building slowly into sustained chords and a whispered final prayer.
Much of this piece was written during a blizzard. Which may account for its obsession with summer at the beach.
The first movement, Dunes, is about the slow shifting of shapes (colors, harmonies) that one sees in sand and clouds. Sandpipers draw their motion from the quirky scurrying of bunches of these little birds as they chase the waves up and down the beach. Kites sail with great freedom by the ocean, gliding gracefully, then darting and diving with sudden gusts.