Laura Lentz's debut EP is not your average flute record 

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Rochester flutist Laura Lentz’s first solo recording, “Jacob’s Triptych,” is not your typical collection of flute music. For one, all three compositions featured on the EP — which was released March 3 — was written by Jacob ter Veldhuis, a Dutch contemporary classical composer of avant-garde sounds with pop music sensibilities.

In fact, ter Veldhuis, who goes by the moniker Jacob TV, said in a recent conversation that he finds most music for flute soloists boring. That explains why TV wrote the compositions for flute and electronics, rather than pairing the woodwind instrument with its conventional accompaniment instrument, the piano.

Fortunately, Lentz — who is the artistic director and flutist for the chamber ensemble fivebyfive — agrees with him. “Jacob’s Triptych” has an experimental streak running through it. Both “Lipstick” from 1998, as well as “Loudly and Clearly,” which TV finished writing for Lentz at her urging in 2022, relies on what the composer refers to as “the beauty of speed grooves.” These songs use the flute to emulate the melodic and rhythmic patterns of spoken word.

The resulting sound is a kind of collage. “Sound is abstract and speech is not,” TV said. “And that combination, to me, is pure magic. It’s overwhelming. And I’m like a beachcomber. I just find something and I work with it.”

Jacob TV is by no means the first to write contemporary classical music in a style of mimicry similar to video memes. Composer Steve Reich helped to pioneer this approach, but TV’s style is particularly high-energy and tongue-in-cheek. “Jacob’s Triptych” makes for a lighthearted listen that rewards repeat hearings.

Daniel J. Kushner is CITY’s arts editor. He can be reached at [email protected].
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