You are invited to join...
FluteXpansions Sonic Immersion
21 June – 16 July, 2021
By interview application only - Enrollment spots are limited
Apply to ask about scholarships and assistance!
4-week virtual experience
for flutists or flutist/composers ready to...
deep-dive into the contemporary flute universe
AND who want to...
stimulate their curiosity,
expand their expertise,
& supercharge their artistic voice
Enrollment is now closed, Join the mailing list for next year's course
Sponsors of Sonic Immersion 2021
Whether you are an experienced practitioner with contemporary flute music and looking to further expand your expertise in a specific area, develop a specific project, OR just want an inspiration jolt...
...A professor or teacher looking to understand contemporary flute music and techniques at a deeper level to help your students tackle the repertoire of today...
...OR you’re relatively new to the techniques and aesthetics of contemporary flute music and looking for help going deeper for yourself.
...This is for you!
This is the ultimate experience for flutists & flutist/composers who are...
Obsessed with sound (and want to be geeky about it!)
Eager to explore how contemporary music improves all aspects of flute playing
Curious about creating and exploring the music of today
Craving more freedom, artistic expression and impact
And who want...
Access to top expert practitioners’ mentorship (come inside our world!)
Space to explore new skills, ideas, and projects
Supportive community focused on learning and growth
A family of bonded colleagues
Bravo to Shanna and the team of outstanding Flutists. Let them show you how they prepare and execute some of the classics of contemporary music, and how to interpret music just written. You will be amazed how much this helps your overall flute abilities. This new program should be on your speed dial!!!
As a jazz flutist, I've always encouraged my students to develop their own "voice" in music. I'm sure my friend Shanna Pranaitis plans to take that concept to new heights with her "Sonic Immersion" workshop! Plus, she's invited some of the most wonderfully creative AND fun guest artists to join the faculty, including two of the coolest cats, my buddies Carla Rees and Matthias Ziegler! Not to be missed!
I am so excited to join the Sonic Immersion team! To be among other flutists who believe, as I do, that exploring all of the flute’s sonic capabilities makes us more expansive artists, is a powerful, joyous experience. Participants will feel that power and joy firsthand, I have no doubt.
Inside this four-week experience, you will have the opportunity to:
Set your own intentions for expanding your artistic expression and find mentorship support to pursue them
Build deep working relationships with like-minded flutists and flutist/composers
Master the contemporary repertoire on major competition lists
Develop skills and a deeper understanding of improvisation, composition, and electronics integration
Experience artistic growth that expands professional opportunities and creates powerful musical encounters for audiences and students
This is a special opportunity to share techniques and inspirations with kindred spirits around the world. We will be sharing our solutions to new and old flute conundrums plus helping you to open creative doors for yourselves.
Anne La Berge, faculty
This is NOT your typical summer flute program!
Do you ever wonder if you’re the only one who feels and thinks about sound and music the way you do?
We get it – good news, you’re not alone, we’re here with you!
What if you had time to absorb and digest ideas while receiving mentorship on incorporating what aligns with your artistic voice and goals?
Not everything needs to happen at lightning speeds or be your thing.
When was the last time you were given a supportive space to explore and experiment freely without pressure to perfect or “right”?
Let’s get messy together and explore all the possibilities!
Are your curiosity and imagination itching for a broader aesthetic experience of what music and sound can be?
Come be radically slow with us and do some creative exploration of what lights you up!
For too long...
FALSE myths about contemporary flute techniques
and music have been promoted
"Playing (too much) contemporary music damages your flute playing."
Playing contemporary music and techniques makes you a better flute player all around.
The ability to play and hear microtones accurately improves your pitch overall.
Understanding and embodying complex rhythms improves your overall rhythmic sense.
Learning to develop your own ideas and interpretations allows you to bring fresh, carefully considered and authentic interpretations to music from any period of time.
"Contemporary techniques hurt your flute."
Improper instrument cleaning or maintenance does more damage than any playing technique ever could.
Swab out regularly! Excess moisture weakens pads.
Get regular COAs
"If you play in orchestra you won't play contemporary music."
Here is a SUPER short list of orchestras who have recently premiered new works and/or performed contemporary music:
Seattle Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, NY Philharmonic, Orchestra Filharmonica di Torino, London Sinfonietta, Berlin Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra… etc...
You need to be ready for it.
"Standard repertoire is better/more important than contemporary repertoire."
Every piece of music was once new and had new challenges in it for the musicians and audiences of the time...
...Ergo, by this line of reasoning: nothing has been worth listening to or playing since the first notated music found on a cuneiform tablet in Babylonia in approx 1400BC.
It’s time to eliminate 20th & 21st century-sized holes in our repertoire & training.
We’ve ALL heard these myths and experienced an unfulfilling festival or unpleasant class atmosphere at one time or another.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
The personalization of Sonic Immersion’s curriculum represents an innovative approach to the summer academy model. I am beyond excited to work with students on their journey through flute, electronics, and improvisation in an environment of open experimentation.
Melody Chua, faculty
What would it be like to expand your artistic toolbox in a community-centered program dedicated to growth...
...where you can be imperfect and supported with mentorship while you experiment in any aesthetic and hone necessary professional skills?
Feeling superpower confidence to build the sound world and interpretation of any piece in an authentic way for you and your body
Being an artist of and for your time
Having a global family of bonded colleagues who celebrate your work and support you
Feeling confident in your prowess with electronics and multi-media integrations
Creating powerful sonic experiences for yourself, your audience, and your students
Being the first-call flutist when someone programs new music
Never having to say “I don’t know how to do that” in front of the orchestra
Collaborating with brilliant composers on boundary-breaking projects
Indulging your unlimited potential of artistic expression
This is what FluteXpansions Sonic Immersion is all about!
I’m Shanna Pranaitis – radically traditional flutist, teacher, coach, and the Artistic Director of FluteXpansions.
I help flutists unleash their unlimited potential for artistic expression to create more joy in their lives and highly impactful careers.
I am also obsessed with sound – I’m endlessly fascinated by it.
Let’s stop and take a moment to appreciate just how amazing what we do as flutists really is. We take invisible air and turn it into something that can be heard and felt physically by blowing through a tube with holes in it.
Photo credit: Memoires en Or, Mouna Tahar
Our biggest obstacle as flutists is the belief that some technique is normal and some is extended.
Here in the 21st century, it is ALL simply technique we use to create sound (aka music).
In fact, there is nothing new about these sounds. Microtones, glissandi, percussive sounds, etc, have been used in flute music from around the world for thousands of years. It is far more traditional to incorporate a full range of sound possibilities into music than exclude them.
I believe the most (radically) traditional path for any artist in any discipline is to create and make the art of their time.
For flutists that means:
Mastery of all the different ways we can make sound with our instruments
Performing, learning and teaching contemporary music with the same level of excellence expected for Mozart, Bach, and orchestral excerpts.
Actively participating in the creation of new works for our instrument (as a performer, commissioner, collaborator, and/or a composer!)
Creating powerful experiences for audiences by curating programs that provide context for new works (possibly in dialogue with other styles and time periods)
Cultivating curiosity and awareness of all aspects of sound creation as perpetual learners
I’ve been captivated by contemporary music since I was 13, but what sealed my fate was hearing George Crumb’s string quartet, Black Angels. I had no idea music could sound like that, and I’ve been exploring sound ever since.
It wasn’t always easy. My early passion for contemporary music left me feeling confused by general attitudes towards new music and creatively out of place in university programs primarily focused on old music. Fortunately, I had amazing mentors, an addiction to learning, and unfailing curiosity to keep me going.
I have forged my own path – commissioned and premiered hundreds of works with colleagues around the world, founded ensembles, curated festivals, and developed tools I now share with students.
I’m not about choosing between historical repertoire or creating new music – I want BOTH!
Cultivating curiosity and awareness to include ALL sounds as musical possibilities is the key to releasing the unlimited potential for artistic expression in each of us.
FluteXpansions Sonic Immersion was created to provide a safe space for exploration, growth, supportive community, and mentorship, while immersing yourself in a world of sonic possibilities.
I have continually made it a priority to surround myself with inspiring mentors and colleagues who have forged their own luminary paths as flutists and artists. It is a priceless network of support and community.
The faculty for FluteXpansions Sonic Immersion are those whose relationships have been so meaningful to me, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
It's really exciting to be here in the company of some of my favorite flutist-friends and colleagues! Thanks to my flute teachers like Alex Murray, Julius Baker or Marcel Moyse, and to my decades of experience collaborating with composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Vinko Globokar in the 80's, and, of course, Kaija Saariaho and many others since then, I've collected a huge assortment of tools for you to use in developing in your own playing. Can't wait to share it with you!
Camilla Hoitenga, faculty
FluteXpansions Sonic Immersion is going to be an event like no other! I am so excited to join forces with a stellar roster to provide a unique, immersive experience dedicated to contemporary flute playing. You will be able to explore the expressive potential of your instrument in new ways, delve into your musicianship, learn new skills, and get inspired by an amazing artistic community. This is the program I wish existed when I was getting into new music!
Ginevra Petrucci, Guest Artist
I am inviting into our world a handful of highly motivated flutists and flutist/composers who are ready for...
...deep, intellectually rigorous explorations of sound and a bonded community of radically traditional artists.
You’ll get the support of the faculty artists over the course of 4 weeks to pursue your personalized journey...
What are the key focus areas in this 4-week creative adventure?
Sound is at the center of everything we do as performers, improvisers, or composers. You’ll get everything you need to cultivate the sounds and techniques as artistic tools. AND we’ll teach you all the benefits of an expanded sound palette for your flute-playing and all your music-making.
Go deep into structure and form and delve into strategies for creating your own interpretations based on a solid understanding about the music.
Improvisation & Composition
Get inside the process of organizing sound. Whether you are experienced or dabbling in either of these, we’ll guide you to finding your voice and feeling free to trust yourself sculpting sound in these mediums.
Crafting powerful experiences and communicating your ideas to audiences is a critical part of our job as artists. We’ll give our secrets to curation, project design and cultivating the atmosphere that will have audiences hanging on your every sound.
Mindset & Wellness
Taking care of ourselves as whole people is pretty important, so we’ll include session addressing body use, movement (yoga and dalcroze), and mindset so you have the tools to avoid injury and empower the whole artist within you.
A central tenet of FluteXpansions is the belief that we are stronger together, and we are committed to providing an environment in which you can feel safe to exchange ideas, explore new skills, be messy and fearlessly encourage your unique voice.
Here’s what you’ll get:
Personalized plan sculpted to your goals and interests
Weekly group classes in multiple key areas:
Sound Labs – bring questions about anything flute-sound related for open Q&A workshopping.
Electronics Labs – practical assistance with patches, interactive electronics, or performance.
Deep Listening Sessions – to tune our ears into full inclusivity of all sounds
Analysis Labs – bring scores for didactic dissection, uncover deep structures of pieces
Interpretation Exploration Labs – workshop for feedback on personal interpretation questions and projects
Composition Lab – experience the collaboration process from both sides as you both create and perform small new pieces working in small pods (and yes, you can present at the end!)
Improvisation Labs – active workshopping to explore concepts & strategies for improvisation
Career/Business Labs – explore possible ideas and get actionable steps to creating a custom-designed career
Masterclasses on specific repertoire interests of the participants, such as:
Competition Repertoire, the music of Kaija Saariaho, New Complexity, etc.
Weekly open studio sessions to share work progress
Special presentations (or labs) from faculty and guest speakers such as:
New music for baroque flute, Kingma system flutes, flauto d’amore, low flutes, Chaosflöte and AIYA systems
Career paths and development Q&A with faculty and guest artists
Recordings of all lessons, classes, presentations, and masterclasses
Access to exclusive resource handouts, exercises and guides
3 private mentoring sessions with faculty artists
Exclusive private facebook group for discussions & questions outside of classes
A community of bonded colleagues for life
If you join before April 30,
you'll get these awesome bonuses:
90-Minute Group Workshop in May on sound and interpretation – consider it a jumpstart!
An Extra Private mentoring session with a faculty artist during the program
Total of 4 private sessions!
A career/business coaching session with artistic director Shanna Pranaitis
Before or during the program: I'll help you strategize turning your goals into an income source
Early access to the Facebook group for extra jumpstart support and community
Joining early effectively gets you (at least)
1 month of extra support.
Do you want even more highly tailored guidance?
Consider choosing the Premium option for more 1:1 support that is all about you!
Here’s what you’ll get:
90-minute private strategy session in May (or sooner!)
Delve even deeper into your goals and ideas, so you can get a jumpstart on your project & interests.
3 additional 1:1 private sessions with faculty during the course – Total of 6!
Unlimited email support prior to the program start (response with 48 hours)
How do I know this is right for me?
This is for flutists & flutist/composers
Thrive off curiosity & imagination, learning & growth
Crave a deeper dive into contemporary flute sounds & music and/or ideas for teaching it
Have kind, generous hearts & love celebrating and supporting others' growth
Want a safe place in which to be “messy” while exploring and refining their practice
And NOT those who...
Believe they have nothing left to learn
Have no interest in contemporary flute sounds
Want only surface-level information about performing, interpreting or creating contemporary flute music
Are looking to show off, “market” themselves or partake in any kind of competitive or trash-talking behavior