AN ISLAND WE NEVER LEAVE (2019)
An unrelenting barrage of virtuosity for solo live flute and three pre-recorded flutes, assembled using simple rudiments from folk traditions transcribed and fragmented from various well-known performances and recorded oral histories in Ireland, Japan, Norway, and Slovakia.
CALLS OF CLOSE AND AWAY (2017)
Fl, Ob, Cl, Bsn, Hrn
The first in a set of pieces for woodwind quintet that collage fragments of 18th-century French hunting calls used by Louis XIII (a patron of the arts who enjoyed killing for sport), and bugle calls used for communication in American wars throughout the 20th-century.
A LONG WHILE (2014)
A Schwanengesang for a centuries-old woman that never lived using vocal, verbal, and harmonic fragments with text freely assembled from the 583 words spoken by Hermione in William Shakespeare's final stage work, The Winter's Tale.
POEMS OF SHEER NOTHINGNESS (2013)
Sop, Fl, Cl, Vln, Vcl, Pno
Five troubadour verses on the subject of songwriting in their original Occitan, carefully scattered among transcribed and fragmented audio recordings of Helgeson's work sessions while setting them, creating music that's a poetic record of its own making.
A PLACE TOWARD OTHER PLACES (2012)
A spontaneous dictation — through handwritten musical transcription — of aural experiences in the San Francisco Bay area, using a palette of clarinet ornaments to inscribe the private impressions of sounds like foghorns, bird calls, and train sirens.
BRIEF REGARDS FOR SOMETIMES (2006)
2 Vln, Vla, Vcl
Five pieces using fragmented transcriptions of early wax cylinders — a distorted recording of an unknown fiddle tune, marches played simultaneously in the distance, a quiet chorale sung outdoors by residents of an old folks home, an anonymous rendition of Ravel's String Quartet in F Minor, and a brief clock chime surrounded by noisey silence.
SELF PORTRAIT (WITHOUT ME) (2005)
Vocal utterances from a now-destroyed autobiographical stage work about the memory loss that accompanies clinical depression, recorded on cassette tape and then transcribed, fragmented, and arranged for amplified flute headjoint.
WRITING ON A MANUSCRIPT (OF JS BACH) (2003)
Vln, Vla, Vcl