Claire Chase, Density 2036, part vi at The Kitchen, May 2019. Photo by Karen Chester.

Claire Chase

Density 2036: part vii and more

On View: December 8-December 9, 2020

The Kitchen at Queenslab (1611 Cody Avenue)

Claire Chase’s ongoing Density 2036 project is looking both backward and forward in December, with a livestreamed event developed during a residency through The Kitchen at Queenslab. This event on December 18 celebrates the release of four albums with Chase’s recordings of Density parts i-v and the performance of the world premiere of part vii, Sex Magic by Liza Lim.

Lim’s Sex Magic is an evening-length piece for contrabass flute, electronics, and an installation of kinetic percussion, about the sacred erotic in women’s history. As Lim writes in her program notes for the piece, “This is a work about an alternative cultural logic of women’s power as connected, in part, to cycles of the womb—the life-making powers of childbirth, the ‘skin-changing,’ world-synchronising temporalities of the body, and the womb centre as a site of divinatory wisdom.”

Works from Densities past will be performed by Chase and other flutists, including Carlos Aguilar, Ilaria Hawley, and an ensemble of college and preparatory division students, faculty, and alumni from The Juilliard School, where Chase is currently engaged as a Creative Associate. Ara Guzelimian, interim dean and director of music at Juilliard and Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival, will moderate several discussions with Chase and Lim.

The four albums were made over a five-year period at Meyer Sound’s Pearson Theatre in Berkeley, California, using the range of capabilities of Meyer Sound’s Constellation® acoustic system. The recording process was true to a performance: no editing, no post-production, and everything done in a single take. The recordings were produced by Matias Tarnopolsky.

The physical recordings on CD will be released by Corbett vs Dempsey, an art gallery and record company based in Chicago and founded by music writer and producer John Corbett and Jim Dempsey. The recordings will be available digitally via Bandcamp.

Density 2036 is a twenty-four-year project begun by Chase in 2013 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 will be released in their world premiere recordings, and scores, performance notes, and educational materials will be made available on a living archive at, which will launch on December 18, 2020. The Kitchen has been the presenter of the world premieres of all seven of the Density programs to date.

In Residence at Queenslab: December 7–18, 2020.

Curated by Matthew Lyons.


Density 2036: part vii and more

Live Performance Stream December 18, 7–9 pm EST (Listening with headphones recommended)

7–8 pm: World Premiere of Density 2036: part vii (2019–2020)

Liza Lim, Sex Magic (2020) for contrabass flute, electronics and an installation of kinetic percussion instruments

Claire Chase, contrabass flute

Levy Lorenzo, electronics

Nicholas Houfek, lighting and production design

8–9 pm: Density 2036: parts i-v (2013–2018) Album Release Celebration

Vijay Iyer, Five Empty Chambers (2016)

Claire Chase + The Juilliard School Flutes

Felipe Lara, Meditation and Calligraphy (2014)

Claire Chase, bass flute

Mario Diaz de Leon, Luciform (2013)

Carlos Aguilar, flute

Richard Beaudoin, life, life, life (2020)

Ilaria Hawley, flute

Marcos Balter, Soliloquy from Pan (2018)

Claire Chase, flute


*Density 2036, part vii *and more

Claire Chase, flutes

Levy Lorenzo, sound design and electronics

Nicholas Houfek, lighting design and production management

Ara Guzelimian, host

Density 2036, parts i–v

Conceived, directed, and performed by Claire Chase

Claire Chase, flutes

Levy Lorenzo, electronics

A Meyer Sound Production

Helen Meyer and John Meyer, executive producers

Matias Tarnopolsky, recording producer

David Dennison, recording engineer

Miles Rogers, Constellation engineer

Recorded at the Pearson Theatre, Meyer Sound Laboratories, Berkeley, CA

December 2015–August 2019

CD 1: parts i and ii

CD 2: part iii

CD 3: part iv

CD 4: part v


Claire Chase, described by The New York Times recently as “the North Star of her instrument’s ever-expanding universe,” is a musician, interdisciplinary artist, and educator. Passionately dedicated to the creation of new ecosystems for the music of our time, Chase has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works by a new generation of artists, and in 2013 launched the 24-year commissioning project Density 2036. Now in its tenth year, Density 2036 reimagines the solo flute literature over a quarter-century through commissions, performances, recordings, education and an accessible archive at Chase co-founded the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2001, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Chase is currently Professor of the Practice of Music at Harvard University’s Department of Music, a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School, and a Collaborative Partner with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony. She is the Debs Creative Chair at Carnegie Hall for the 2022-23 season.

Liza Lim is an Australian composer whose music focuses on collaborative and transcultural practices. Ideas of beauty, ecological connection, and ritual transformation are ongoing concerns in her compositional work. Her four operas—* *Tree of Codes *(2016), The Navigator (2007), Moon Spirit Feasting (2000), and The Oresteia (1993)—and the major ensemble work Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus (2018) explore themes of desire, memory, and the uncanny. Widely commissioned by some of the world’s pre-eminent orchestras and ensembles, Lim is Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her music is published by Casa Ricordi Berlin.

Meyer Sound continually strives to elevate the overall dialogue about sound and bring greater awareness to the importance of how we hear and listen. A collaborative, results-focused approach to sound solutions drives a company philosophy where creative thinking, old-fashioned craftsmanship, and entrepreneurial technology are strongly intertwined. Tours for top-grossing artists and respected concert and entertainment venues rely on Meyer Sound, as do houses of worship, cinemas, restaurants, universities, corporate offices, and museums. With field offices and authorized distributors worldwide, Meyer Sound designs and manufactures all products at its Berkeley, California headquarters, allowing for rigorous quality control and testing, and starting in 2018, all products are covered by a five-year warranty. Scientific acoustical research and product development have earned Meyer Sound more than 100 US and international patents and numerous awards since its founding in 1979 by John and Helen Meyer. Meyer Sound is a registered trademark of Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.

Corbett vs. Dempsey is an art gallery and record company based in Chicago. Founded by music writer and producer John Corbett and Jim Dempsey, CvsD has continued work that Corbett began with his Unheard Music Series, unearthing and reissuing important creative music recordings by musicians from Joe McPhee to Guillermo Gregorio, as well as releasing brand new music on CD. As a contemporary art gallery, CvsD maintains a regular performance schedule for live music, including a series of ICEsolo events, which presented members of the International Contemporary Ensemble in unaccompanied concerts. The gallery also represents two major musical figures: the visual art of Peter Brötzmann and the non-musical dimension of the estate of visionary artist Sun Ra.


Claire Chase: Density 2036, part vii and more is made possible with endowment support from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; annual grants from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image: Claire Chase. Photo by Karen Chester. Courtesy of the artist.