“Oskar Fischinger once told a young John Cage: “Everything in the world has a spirit that can be released through its sound.” Varèse unleashed this spirit for the flute, for the one all alone, in these staggering four minutes of music. Did he go as far as one could go, metaphorically and otherwise? Of what will the Density of our time be made? Of osmium? Of signal processing? Of wood? Of carbon? Of flesh? Of air? ”
— Claire Chase, excerpted from In Search of the New Density, John Zorn’s ARCANA, Vol. 12

Density 2036 is a 22-year project begun by Claire Chase in 2014 to commission an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute each year until the 100th Anniversary of Edgard Varèse’s groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5. each season between 2014-2036, Claire will premiere a new 60-minute program of solo flute work commissioned that year in a special performance at The Kitchen in New York City and on tour in select cities thereafter. Additionally, each cycle of works (Density 2014, Density 2015, Density 2020, etc) will be released in their world premiere recordings annually, and scores, performance notes and materials be made available digitally as educational resources for flutists everywhere.

Every three years of the cycle (Density 2016, Density 2019, etc) a retrospective event will be held in which Claire will perform cumulative concerts of all Density work commissioned up until that date. In 2036, a 24-hour marathon will take place.

Claire Chase, flutes

Levy Lorenzo, sound engineer

David Michalek, lighting designer

Kim Guzowski, production manager


Density 2036: part i (prelude)

 Photo: Karen Chester

Photo: Karen Chester

Steve Reich: Vermont Counterpoint for flute and pre-recorded flutes (1981)

Marcos Balter (b. 1974): Pessoa for six bass flutes (2013)

Alvin Lucier: Almost New York for five flutes and oscillators (2007)

Mario Diaz de León: Luciform for flute and electronics (2013)

Edgard Varèse: Density 21.5 for flute alone (1936)

Density 2036: part i (prelude) is dedicated to Fred Anderson.



Density 2036: part ii (2014)

Edgard Varèse: Density 21.5 for flute alone (1936)

Felipe Lara: Meditation and Calligraphy for bass flute (2014)

Felipe Lara: Parábolas na Caverna for amplified flute (2013-2014)

Commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation

George Lewis: Emergent for flute and electronics (2014)

Commissioned by the Pnea Foundation

Matthias Pintscher: Beyond (A System of Passing) (2013-2014)

Co-commissioned by The Salzburg Foundation and the Pnea Foundation (for Emmanuel Pahud and Claire Chase)

Du Yun: An Empty Garlic for bass flute and electronics (2014)

Commissioned by Project&

Density 2036: part ii (2014) is dedicated to Elise Mann.



Density 2036: part iii (2015)

Dai Fujikura (b. 1977) : Lila for flute, bass flute and contrabass flute (2015)

Francesca Verunelli (b. 1979) : The Famous Box Trick for bass flute and electronics (2015)

Nathan Davis (b. 1973) : Limn for bass flute, contrabass flute and electronics (2015)

Jason Eckardt (b. 1971) : The Silenced a monodrama for solo flute (2015)

 Photo: Karen Chester

Photo: Karen Chester

Pauline Oliveros (b. 1932) : Intensity 20.15: Grace Chase for Claire and the Expanded Instrument System (EIS) (2015)

Edgard Varèse (b. 1925) : Density 21.5 for flute alone  (1936)

Density 2036: part iii (2015) is dedicated to Steven Schick.



Density 2036: part iv (2016)

Edgard Varese: Density 21.5 (1936), with a movement score (2016) by Julie Beauvais (version one)

Suzanne Farrin: The Stimulus of Loss (2016) for glissando headjoint and ondes martenot

Tyshawn Sorey: Bertha's Lair (2016) for contrabass flute and drums

Vijay Iyer: Flute Goals (2016) for tape

Edgard Varese: Density 21.5 (1936)

Pauchi Sasaki: Gama XV: Piece for Two Speaker Dresses (2016) for Flute, Violin, Electronic Live Processing, 2 Vocals and 2 Speaker Dresses

Richard Beaudoin: Another Woman of Another Kind: seven stories for flute and eight voices on texts by Paul Griffiths (2016)

Density 2036 part iv (2016) is dedicated to the loving memory of Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016).


Density 2036: part v, Pan  (2017)

A new 90-minute work for solo flute, live electronics and mass community participation

Marcos Balter: composer

Claire Chase: flutes

Douglas Fitch: director

Project& and Jane M Saks: commissioning partner, collaborator and producer