Beyond epochs
Danny Clay
Sahba Aminikia
Ryan Brown
Areon Flutes
Jill Heinke Moen
Kassey Plaha
Meerenai Shim
Catalog Number: 
#1 003
new classical

San Francisco, CA

Release Date: 
May 25, 2018
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Award-winning Areon Flutes, now in their fourteenth year, make use of the entire flute family and beyond in their second release with innova, "No Era."  The trio of Jill Heinke Moen, Kassey Plaha, and Meerenai Shim each take their turn on alto, piccolo, and bass flute, respectively, in addition to flourishes of other surprise "instrumentation." The result is a fusion of sounds that can be at times soothing, melancholy, funky, joyfully vibrant, or when used in a less traditional manner, overtly dissonant, puzzling, fractured, and otherworldly.

The album features post-minimalist pieces by San Francisco-based composers Sahba Aminikia, Ryan Brown, and Danny Clay.  "Broken Birds" by Danny Clay turns the concept of "flutes as birds" on its head using unconventional flute textures along with call bells, wine glasses, and slide whistles, creating an unforgettable soundscape of un-birds. Sahba Aminikia's "Bade Saba" for flute trio and film accompanies a 15-minute excerpt of a mesmerizing documentary by Albert Lamorisse of Iranian landscape, people, and culture. In "Get Go!" by Ryan Brown, the influence of math rock is apparent through Brown's use of flutes as a drum kit. All three works were commissioned by Areon Flutes.

This is Areon's fourth release — "Thrive" also appears on innova — and Areon Flutes are proud to be Miyazawa Artists.


"It is said that a true master makes something difficult seem easy; Areon Flutes embodies this concept and makes modern compositions for chamber ensembles accessible and pleasurable to all." --Elizabeth Hambleton, New Classic LA


"Areon Flutes is a San Francisco all- female classical chamber ensemble (small group to you non-classical types) of Jill Heinke Moen, Kassey Plaha, and Meerenai Shim, who play the family of flutes. No Era is all-flutes, all the time, and it never gets tedious, monochromatic, staid, or precious. Just the opposite, in fact—this set presents works of three Golden Gate composers, Sahba Aminikia, Ryan Brown, and Danny Clay, and the way this album is programmed it hangs to- gether as a cohesive work, almost as if it were the work of one mind. Here flutes evoke and exude bird songs as well as persuasive rhythms, jazz-y phrasing and percussive pops, and folk motifs ‘n’ tunefulness that’ll remind you classic rock types of your favorite Jethro Tull song(s). While certainly not flute-y “easy listening” (i.e., back- ground/ambient sound), Era is vibrant, richly harmonious, and for the most part very inviting. The ladies have stu- pendous ability/agility but it always serves/enhances the music. Fans of the flute in assorted incarnations and even you prog-rock boosters (you know who you are): Don’t blow an opportunity to hear this." - Mark Keresman

"The technical work of capturing the sounds from each of the three performers is right up there with each of those player’s technical command of her respective instruments. Given the upbeat rhetoric of all three selections, this album has no trouble leaving one with satisfying listening experiences." [FULL ARTICLE] - Stephen Smoliar


"Impeccable technique, purity of sound, great expressiveness and rhythmic precision, characterize the very good flutists of Areon Flutes, who in this new CD interpret three new compositions by Californian authors." [FULL ARTICLE] - Luciano Feliciani


"The Areon Flutes ensemble plays with utterly pure intonation and tone and produces an amazing blend of sounds from their respective instruments. This disc will be of definite interest to flute aficionados, and likely also to anyone interested in new and exotic sounds and well-conceived contemporary works." - David DeBoor Canfield 

"This is, on one level, terrific fun. It is also, however, a celebration of post-Minimalist culture performed to the highest standard." - Colin Clarke

"The performances are lively and committed, as well as being technically very secure." - Henry Fogel


"The pieces range between choppy and percussive puffs and cirrus clouds of serene long mystical moments and rich tapestries" [FULL ARTICLE] - George Harris