Flutist, composer, and improviser Jane Rigler creates pieces that play with hidden languages, recall ancestral songs, incorporate playful game techniques and ask the performers to imagine and improvise. As a certified “Deep Listener”, her compositions focus on sonically uniting the world around her by creating works that promote collaborations and the development of listening skills in others.
Jane’s signature compositional perspective began with her fascination with the voice. Motivated by the theatrical elements of singing, she believes her voice lessons actually helped her win many flute competitions (including the MTNA National Woodwind Winner 1984). After her flute orchestral training at Northwestern University (B.M. 1988), Jane soon became a specialist of contemporary music at UCSD (M.M. 1991, Ph.D. 1996) performing works by Ferneyhough, Czernowin, Saariaho, and Takemitsu, among others. Through her study of phonological musical sounds that emerge from the combination of singing through the tube, she refined the skill of vocalizing by studying ancient techniques from other cultures. Her first flute compositions were inspired by Inuit Women’s vocal games, as well as the vocal-flute hocket techniques found in the music of the Aka Pygmies of the Central African Republic.
Her international career performing complex, edgy compositions that demand the refinement of extended techniques, as well as her skillful improvising, distinguishes Jane as a leading specialist of contemporary music. While living in Spain for nine years (1994-2003), her membership in several free improvisation collectives gave her opportunities to perform with renowned musicians like Peter Kowald, Agustí Fernández, Wade Matthews, and Lê Quan Ninh. In New York City (2003-2009) she regularly performed as a guest artist with established contemporary ensembles (Either/Or, Wet Ink, etc.) and continues to be a featured soloist in many international music festivals (SEAMUS, NYCEMF, NIME, etc.). Her acoustic and electronic works push the flute to new limits. The calling (2013) connects her concern for people, languages, environmental awareness, animals and nature using sounds she collects during her travels. Her recent album, Rarefactions (2015) juxtaposes dense, breathtaking agility on the instrument with subtle, intimate, practically inaudible resonances as they travel through the flute tube.
Jane thrives at artist residencies that promote her collaborative nature. She organized and performed over fifteen collective concerts during her JUSFC (2009-10) residency in Japan. Recognized for her ambassador-like approach to collective performance, she was later invited back to Japan by the U.S. Embassy (2011 Holiday Tour) and the Chihan Art Project for her sound installation/concert While You Sleep (2013). She has received artist residencies from iEar@RPI (2006), Hambidge (2010), and UCROSS (2012) and three residencies from Harvestworks (2004, 2008, 2015) and Civitella Ranieri (2016).
As an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) in the interdisciplinary art department (VAPA), she teaches contemporary music history, computer music, performance practice, improvisation, and team teaches an online Digital Humanity course with faculty from diverse departments.
Jane Rigler by Reuben Radding