The flutist and composer Nathalie Joachim is probably best known for the evening-length work and Grammy-nominated album Fanm d’Ayiti, which integrates field recordings, Haitian folk music, flute, voice, electronics, and the exquisite strings of Spektral Quartet into an intimate social and personal Haitian reverie. While it will also be staged at Big Ears, this solo concert is a showcase for the many musical tributaries that led to Joachim’s marquee work.
Born in a Haitian family in Brooklyn and trained at Juilliard, Joachim met fellow flutist Allison Loggins-Hull on Myspace more than ten years ago. They formed Flutronix, a buoyant flute duo augmented by electronics, vocals, and percussion that draws freehand lines between jazz and classical minimalism, Radiohead and Erykah Badu. Their latest album, 2.0, is a polished evolution of their self-described “urban art-pop,” evoking an acoustic Aphex Twin on “Life Lines” and featuring a splashy cover of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.”
While enlarging and enlivening the margins of contemporary classical in Flutronix, Joachim also made her name in its center as a member of the Grammy-winning chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird. Now a United States Artist Fellow, she has performed and recorded with the likes of Bryce Dessner, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Miguel Zenón, and she has written for Imani Winds, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and many others. Her symphonic debut is forthcoming courtesy of the St. Louis Symphony, as are new chamber works for Roomful of Teeth and Sō Percussion, as she continues to hone a electroacoustic voice so malleable that it can fit into any niche where she cares to put it.