John Gordon Armstrong

Canadian Composer

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Simon Says

This is my latest, a quintet for Boston’s Solar Winds and, in particular, flutist Jill Dreeben. The premiere was on October 28 in Boston.  When I lived in Boston in the 1980’s, Jill was (and is) a good friend with whom I regularly performed. When I left Boston in 1991, I wrote her a piece for solo flute called Child’s Play to celebrate the child that she and Greg were about to have. She gave the premiere in Boston and performed it again recently in the fall of 2016. When I realized that the new quintet was full of imitation, it occurred to me that Simon Says would be the perfect title, after her son Simon, who is now 25. So, with his permission of course . . .

Simon Says is intended to be a practical, audience-friendly piece, albeit with an extended harmonic vocabulary. There are three movements: “Follow Me”, “Be Still” and “Jump Around”.

Simon Says was premiered by the Solar Winds on Oct. 28, 2017 in the Slosberg Recital Hall at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The following recording is from that performance.

Composed in 2017 for Woodwind Quintet
Duration: 10 minutes
Advanced student/Accessible

1. “Follow Me”


2. “Be Still”


3. “Jump Around”