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Columbus Couple Previews Tower Duo's Debut Recording, 'Crosswind'

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Tower Duo flutist Erin Helgeson Torres and saxophonist Michael Rene Torres perform in the Classical 101 studio.

You might still be reeling from the crazy crosswinds that blew through central Ohio last weekend. But recently a totally different kind of breeze blew through the Classical 101 studio when the Columbus-based Tower Duo offered up a sneak peek of its debut recording, Crosswind.

Recorded last spring at the Ohio State University School of Music, Crosswind features flutist Erin Helgeson Torres and saxophonist and composer Michael Rene Torres performing works for flute and saxophone by eight contemporary composers – Michael Rene Torres, Phillip Sink, Scott Brickman, Thomas Wells, Dylan Arthur Baker, Marilyn Shrude, Charlie Wilmoth and Chin Ting Chan.

Currently in its 10th year as an ensemble, Tower Duo is dedicated to fostering the flute-saxophone duo repertoire by commissioning new works, especially from emerging composers.

“A lot of the composers on our album are people that we met when they were students or when we were students,” Michael Rene Torres said. “And so they were in the beginning stages of their writing. And it was just fun for us to work with a composer from scratch and see how a piece would evolve over time.”

Chan is an emerging composer who wrote the recording’s title track, Crosswind, for Tower Duo. In the video below, Tower Duo performs an excerpt from Chan’s Crosswind and selections by Sink and Michael Rene Torres himself.

Torres and Helgeson Torres also talk about their Music in Motion project, involving multimedia and new music by Ohio composers.

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.