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Mosaics I

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John Heiss

John Heiss

Subtitle: For a very large array of flutists

General Info

Year: 1986
Duration: c. 9:10
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $12.50


Full Score
Flute, from 5 to 40


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Mosaics #1 (for a very large array of flutes) was written in 1986. The format of the piece is controlled aleatory music, in which the players are given the freedom to play independent lines while following a predetermined roadmap and a conductor. The result is a canonic cluster of sound masses, resulting in a piece Heiss suggests is made up of “well-defined randomness with a kind of intention.”

The piece was inspired by listening to the random sounds coming from space through radio-telescopes. When confronted by total randomness in sound, Heiss imagined patterns emerging from the chaos. Likewise, in Mosaics, the listener is surrounded by random-like gestures which may come to suggest structure or organization in one’s mind.

At the behest of fellow flutist and friend Fenwick Smith during the Boston Flute Convention in 1989, Heiss wrote an additional section of music that breaks with the aleatoric form. The new ending, known as Fanfare, is exclamatory music where the flutes play in rhythm moving from unison passages to sonorous chords; a pensive, quiet ending approaches as pitches slowly fade one by one.

- Program Note by Nicolás Ayala Cerón for the New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds concert program, 16 December 2020


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer