Nfld. & Labrador·First Listen

'I consider myself a one-woman orchestra,' says flutist Rozalind MacPhail

The St. John's musician combines her passion for electronic music, ambient sound, flute and singing into an unforgettable musical experience.

Have a First Listen to Don't Let Me Fall Too Far by Rozalind MacPhail

Rozalind MacPhail combines flute loops, electronics, voice and ambient sound in her new album, Don't Let Me Fall Too Far. (Submitted by Anna Rutherford)

Flutist Rozalind MacPhail's music is about more than just a single instrument.

"I consider myself a one-woman orchestra," she said.

"My passion is the flute, but I also love the voice and I love electronics and I love field sound." 

MacPhail's new album, Don't Let Me Fall Too Far, combines MacPhail's musical interests to create music that she said some of her listeners compare to the music of Pink Floyd, Kate Bush and even early Radiohead. 

Started in classical music

MacPhail grew up in Ontario and studied classical flute both as a teenager and at university. Her original goal was to be a classical flute soloist.

"I quickly discovered in my 20s and early 30s that that really wasn't the career I was going to have, and I thought, 'What else can I do?'" 

MacPhail started writing her own music, and developing her interests in electronic music, film composing and ambient sound.  

Those interests led her ten years ago to Newfoundland and Labrador, and the supportive local music community.  

"I feel the most grounded I've ever felt, living here in St. John's,"  said MacPhail. 

A hit in Scandinavia

Don't Let Me Fall Too Far started as a multimedia project with artists in New Brunswick. 

With her collaborators' blessings, MacPhail developed the music so she could perform it live on the flute, adding electronics as a duet performer.  

She has already toured the album in Denmark and Sweden, where, she said, it received a warm reception.  

"Lots of tears, lots of moments of reflection," said MacPhail. 

"It's moving people." 

'Flute revolution'

This month, MacPhail is touring Don't Let Me Fall Too Far in the United States, where she said more flutists are open to exploring similar musical pathways.  

"It's almost like there's a flute revolution going on right now with electronic music." 

Rozalind McPhail talks electronic loops, multimedia projects, and the flute revolution

Rozalind MacPhail talks with Weekend AM's Heather Barrett about how playing the flute has led her to explorations in electronic music, multi-media projects, and her latest recording project - Don't Let Me Fall Too Far 20:42

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us wam@cbc.ca and tell us about it. 

You can hear First Listen on Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Labrador) on CBC Radio One. 

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About the Author

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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