Uncanny fluting
Elainie Lillios
Cornelius Boots
Mike Sempert
Areon Flutes
Catalog Number: 
new classical

Sunnyvale, CA

Release Date: 
Nov 18, 2016
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Recently hailed as one of the most memorable live performers of 2015 by the San Francisco Examiner, the award-winning Areon Flutes is an ensemble dedicated to the presentation of new music in a unique way. Now in their twelfth year, the core trio of Jill Heinke, Kassey Plaha and Sasha Launer make use of the entire flute family (including the “regular” C flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, ocarina, slide whistle, and beyond), providing a fusion of sounds that can be at times soothing, melancholy, joyfully vibrant, or when used in a less traditional manner overtly dissonant, puzzling, fractured and otherworldly.

Their innova debut, Thrive, features living composers Elainie Lillios, Cornelius Boots, and Mike Sempert. Lillios was Areon's 2014 International Composition Competition winner, and her "Summer Sketches" depicts the sonic landscape of the world of insects through extended techniques on the flute family. "Chthonic Suite" (Boots) takes the listener on a three-movement journey to the underworld with reflective, joyful and rocking moments. "Uncanny Valley" (Sempert) offers a glimpse into a future world of artificial intelligence and the struggle between synthetic and organic minds. Both Sempert and Boots were commissions from Areon.

This is Areon's third release, and Areon Flutes are proud to be Miyazawa Artists.


"Summer Sketches, the winner of Areon’s 2014 International Composition Competition, begins with a playful, wandering flute solo. Two more flutes join in and engage in an aural game of hide-and-seek. At times the music describes an action like skipping and diving, and other times seems more onomatopoetic. The two movements, 'Skating on Discs of Light' and 'Dry Wind,' follow ants running past a picnic, mosquitos buzzing past your ear, spiders creeping toward their prey, and dragonflies dive-bombing the lazy river. Unorthodox tone color, hums, trills, percussive tongue and finger slaps, flutters and growls used on the whole flute family evoke these quintessential insectoid summer sounds. ... Thrive easily earns a spot in my top five albums of 2016. Every track is easy to listen to, and the more you listen, the more levels of appreciation you gain. There is very little showing off, which frankly is something of a relief. ... 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." [FULL ARTICLE]
Elizabeth Hambleton


“ thrilling collection of pieces” “This one’s a thrill a minute!” - [FULL ARTICLEGeorge Harris



"I could be dismissive of this skill and say it's clear they've have 10 years of playing together, but it's more than that: they are all incredibly nimble, sensitive flutists who are truly making great art as Areon Flutes. Thrive is a fun exploration of new music in varied styles for flute trio, a great display of virtuosity for all three performers, and an apt description of Areon Flutes' presence on the new music/chamber scene."


"This is a stunning disc which redefines the ensemble of similars and helps to carve out a lasting place for the flute ensemble in the classical world.  But even terms like “classical world” might be limiting as a way to describe this album.  It is innovative but not really experimental.  It is beautiful without being simple and it is virtuosic without being pure and empty showmanship.  This is a substantial set of challenging works played with virtuosity and interpretive skill that will leave the listener stunned and unable to write a review (oops, sorry about the excuses again).

But seriously this is entertaining and substantial music making by a wonderful ensemble that serious listeners will want to keep on their radar." [FULL ARTICLE] - Allan J Cronin