“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 23-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 year until 2036, Claire will commission and premiere a new program of flute music. 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.

Periodically, retrospective events will be held in which Claire will perform marathon concerts of all of the repertoire commissioned to date. In 2036, a 24-hour event will take place featured the combined repertoires of this project.

Claire Chase, flutes
Levy Lorenzo, sound engineer


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.

David Michalek, visual direction and lighting design


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)

George Lewis: Emergent for flute and electronics (2014)

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

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

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: Five Empty Chambers (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).

Lydia Steier, concept and visual direction
Monica Duncan, projections
Nick Houfek, lighting design


© Karen Chester

© Karen Chester

Density 2036: part v, Pan: a new 90-minute work for solo flute, live electronics and mass community participation (2017)

Density 2036 part v (2017) is dedicated to Andreas Waldburg. 

Marcos Balter: composer
Claire Chase: flutes
Douglas Fitch: director
Project& and Jane M Saks: commissioning partner, collaborator and producer

Read About The Piece Here!



Density 2036: part vi (2019)

© Karen Chester

© Karen Chester

Levy Lorenzo: Light Flute (2018) for LED and software

Bahar Royaee: Purge (2019) for tape

Olga Neuwirth: Magic Flu-idity (2018) for flute and typewriter
Nathan Davis, typewriter

Pamela Z: Louder, Warmer, Denser (2018-19) for flute, bass flute, contrabass flute and electronics

Phyllis Chen: Roots of Interior (2019) for flute and heartbeat

Sarah Hennies: “Reservoir 2: Intrusion” (2018-19) for bass flute and five or more voices
Constellation Chor: Marisa Michelson (director), Chad Goodridge, Kalliopi Siamidou, Marisa Michelson, Chaesong Kim, Luisa Muhr, Nikko Benson, Jen Anaya, Tamrin Goldberg, Shawn Shafner

Tyshawn Sorey: Bertha’s Lair (2016, rev. 2018-19) for flute and percussion

Edgard Varèse: Density 21.5 (1936) for solo flute

Density 2036: part vi is dedicated to Doriot Anthony Dwyer.

Claire Chase, flutes
Nicholas Houfek, production design
Levy Lorenzo, sound design
Pamela Salling, stage management