Coniferous Forest

For Flute, alto flute doubling piccolo, English horn
afl/pic, bflute, Enghn
Englewinds Ensemble
May, 2nd 2010
Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, NJ
Engelwinds Ensemble with guest artist Pamela Sklar
T.D. Ellis
Catalog Number
  • Program Notes

    Nature and music just seem the perfect pair. Music is part of nature; birds singing, drums created and played by people from cultures around the world; ancient flutes across the globe made from a bird’s bone, an animal’s horn, wood, ivory, bamboo, ceramic, crystal, and later, silver, gold, platinum and other metals. The sound of these flutes played outside is uniquely beautiful.

    I love forests and all kinds of trees, especially evergreens which are majestic. Coniferous plants reproduce by forming seeds inside of pine cones which are spread through the air by wind and animals- nature.

    The opening English horn melody was playing through my head when I first began thinking about the director’s idea (director of Englewinds, Sarah Davol) of writing a piece that connected to water, natural habitat and nature. In my mind’s eye I envisioned a beautiful, serene wintry forest with a blanket of snow on the ground. Simultaneously I saw snow melting in slow motion off pine cones, with icy water running gently in ring-like patterns, all the way around and around again, on the outside of the cones as they hung on the evergreens. Eventually, still in slow motion, the sound of the water dripping onto the snow came to be represented by the bass flute 'dripping’ low D's. Each melting droplet that lands on the snow is characterized by a tongue thrust aimed directly into the flute embouchure.

    The lighting in the forest, the time of day, indirect sunlight, cloudy atmosphere, fresh air and cold climate can be felt through all of the instruments’ sonorities- alto flute, bass flute, piccolo and English horn.


  • Please note: Reviews are from the album A Native American-Jazz Tribute. This album includes Eventually - the trio for flute, clarinet and cello.

    – Flute Talk

    "...the listener is transformed to another time and place. ...evocative... hauntingly beautiful... full of colors... excellent. Listeners are treated to a true melting pot of styles including 20th century flute techniques, jazz form, improvisation and Native American melodies and aesthetics… Sklar plays with a singing tone throughout and shows sensitivity and versatility with each combination of instruments."
    – National Flute Association: Flutist Quarterly

    "Pamela Sklar, a God-gifted musician... smooth and soothing to the soul... a collaborator credited for performing with many artists and contributing her spectacular soundtracks to various films, jingles. A different and unique style of music... sultry... peaceful. Her rare sound is a story teller. Astounding... awesome talent."
    – Smooth Jazz Magazine

    "...very listenable music that straddles world music and jazz. Flutist Pamela Sklar has produced this album which puts together Native American musical styles and jazz that have engaged her imagination and soul. She improvises on various sorts of flutes. I especially liked Wood Spirit, for flute, violin and cello. A portion of the proceeds goes to a charity which serves over 75 reservations around the US"
    – John Henry, Audiophile Audition