Fingering for the Berio Sequenza Multiphonic (G and C at the same time)

24 Jul 2015

David Sherr: Sheridon Stokes has a great book called Special Effects for Flute that really explains multiphonics other effects. Every flutist who plays contemporary music should have it.

Bonnie McAlvin: The film ET made Sheridon Stokes one of my heroes! Honored to contribute to the bounty of resources.

David Sherr: You are making a terrific contribution. I met Sheridon in a jazz band a long time ago. I learned a tremendous amount just hanging out with him. He (along with Buddy Collette, a fine flutist himself, Bill Green and especially Plas Johnson, who gave me his job[!] on the Carol Burnett Show, got me into the studio business. One of my first jobs was subbing for Sheridon on a movie called "Head" (starring the Monkeys). I like to think I had nothing to do with the resounding failure of the movie. When I recorded Sequenza I, the G-C multiphonic came out a C octave. That fingering isn't in his book and if you have one I would appreciate it if you would post it. Sheridon had a publishing company and distributed my oboe multiphonic book, The Oboe In Contemporary Music. I got the multiphonics in the oboe and clarinet Sequenzas the way they were written except that the clarinet ones were a half step high because I couldn't find a clarinet with a low E-flat.

Bonnie McAlvin: The G-C multiphonic from the Berio is tricky! Coincidentally, it's the topic for Fortnight 4, which will be out on 6/21. The overtone fingering is actually fine (finger low C but overblow). But the thing is, it's a very very delicate type of overblowing. I guess when I hear 'overblow', I think 'blow harder'. But actually, you have to close the aperture a little, blow less, and aim the air a bit upward. It's possible to aim the air so that the two low Cs of the overtone series are suppressed, and only the G and C ring. The same thing for the following Ab-Db. The overtone fingering works, but you have to aim the air 'just so'.

David Sherr : That was the fingering I used but I got the octave instead. I'm looking forward to the video on 6/21.


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