Here’s a front-row video of Bruce Stoller’s Open Spaces Suite, which SASO premiered on April 6 and 7, 2013. Stoller himself served as soloist, playing one of the many yucca shakuhachi flutes he has crafted over the years. Refined studio recordings of the second and third movements may be found on SASO’s CD Celebration! (which you can purchase here). In this video, you can experience the full work in its April 7 performance at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Tucson. Linus Lerner conducts.
Bruce Stoller is a pianist, composer, flutist and flute maker originally from New York City. He studied piano with Robert Goldsand at the Manhattan School of Music and holds a masters in piano performance from the University of Arizona, studying with Dr. Rex Woods. He also spends time playing transverse flute and end-blown pentatonic flutes from various cultures. He has also been a part of the freelance music scene in Tucson since 1980, playing piano in clubs and hotels. In 1973 he journeyed out West and happened onto Bisbee, and is considered a founding member of the 1970s “crew” that witnessed Bisbee’s transition from mining town to art colony. He writes:
“In the Mule Mountains of Bisbee, I found inspiration to use dried yucca and agave blooms for cylinder making, and was ‘off to the races’ making five-holed pentatonic flutes. That experience changed my musical compass as reflected in Open Spaces Suite and my CD Mandala, a collection of original work for solo yucca flute, flute and guitar, flute and synthesizers, and piano. Open Spaces Suite is an elemental expression of my rootedness and adaptation in the desert, an homage to Bisbee and enduring relationships. It is definitely a Sonoran Desert work. I am grateful to work with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and for the opportunity to present this work for yucca flute and orchestra. Open Spaces Suite is dedicated to the memory of my brothers John and Billy Stoller.”