John Gordon Armstrong

Canadian Composer


Child’s Play

Notes from the composer 

Child’s Play was written in Boston for Jill Dreeben, who was expecting her first child, Simon, at the time. It attempts, in five contrasting movements, to explore the various shades of innocence evoked by children, and at the same time explores the capabilities of the solo flute. The contrasts, like a child’s attentions, are deliberately capricious but intensly focused. The piece uses all of the staples of the contemporary flute—multiphonics, alternate fingerings, pitch bends, whistle tones, and flutter-tonguing—but still manages to be attractive and accessible to a general audience. Child’s Play was premiered in Boston in the Fall of 1991. The recording that follows is from her performance in the fall of 2016.

Composed in 1991 for flute
Five Movements
Duration: 12 minutes
Very Difficult/Very Accessible

1. “First Steps”


2. “Curious”


3. “Waking”


4. “Mischievous”


5. “Sleeping”