What the critics say

Live Performances

For Luigi Nono’s Das atmende Klarsein:

“Phenomenal” – Theaterkrant, the Netherlands

In the Muziekgebouw Helen Bledsoe’s outstanding playing impressed
 with an enchanting manifestation of whistling overtones,
clicking keys and lisping aeolian sounds
NRC Handelsblad

“Nonos Werk Das atmende Klarsein wiederum lebt einerseits vom meditativen Gesang, zum anderen von den teils aufgeregten Floskeln der Bassflöte, die Helen Bledsoe in größter Virtuosität meistert.” – Westdeutsche Allgemeine

For Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Luziferstanz:

“Helen Bledsoe zwitschert mit ihrer Piccoloflöte rasende Figurationen, schleudert sie in die Höhe. Sie drechselt ihre Töne zu stählernen Perlen.” – Frankfurter Allgemein

Other works:

“…l’extrordinaire Densité 21.5 pour flûte, émergeant tout à coup de l’ensemble, et joué de façon sublime.” – Vevey Hebdo

“The highlight of the evening (Heinz Holliger’s Scardanelli Cyclus) was the flute solo from Helen Bledsoe in the piece (t)air(e): she played all the unusual effects, renting outbursts and crystalline motives with great virtuosity, impassioned and with a beautiful tone.”   – De Volkskrant

“From the first moment her enormous musicality strikes you, as well as her coloristic capabilities.” – Entr’acte

“Bledsoe is spontaneous, dares to give, and how!” – NRC Handelsblad

“… her control of the instrument and virtuosity are beyond dispute.” – De Volkskrant

“Helen Bledsoe, who played the hallucinating trills of Paolo Perezzani’s L’Ombra dell’Angelo brilliantly and powerfully, … played everything from memory, even Berio’s famous Sequenza, and turned out to be quite a stage-personality.” – Goudsche Courant

“She is a brilliant reciter of nonsense text, sings the Cagian vocalises [from John Cage’s Song Books] masterfully, and has a good command of the family of flute instruments in all conceivable techniques.” – Rheinische Post

CD Reviews

CD Ghost Icebreaker/Leo Records

“This is an eye-opening CD, which has much to offer the open-minded listener. The richness of the material means that active listening and multiple hearings are rewarded, and the quality of playing is outstanding from both the performers. Highly recommended.” – Carla Rees, Pan Journal of the British Flute Society June, 2015

“[The] pieces offer an intense, brittle foray into the possibilities of the piano and flute.  If-you-will, a conversation using breath, finger placement, precise dexterity, tuned percussion on black and white keys, scale, melodic fragmentation, enquiry and imagination; what you build up you breakdown, what is broken down is reformed, give and take, backwards and forwards.  Isn’t that what the great Bebop genius Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker was doing as Igor Stravinsky sat in the audience on 52ndStreet cheering him on?  Well, almost.  For me, the real treat in listening to Bledsoe is the tremendous control she has over her instrument, one that is notoriously difficult in all dynamics.  That control gives both her and Lapin a vast pallet for improvisation.” – Steve Day, Sandy Brown Jazz, Online Magazine

“Each tune is wonderfully evocative, transporting the listener to a new state of mind with each new track.  Bledsoe’s use of extended techniques is integrated so thoroughly with the music that nothing ever sounds like a parlor trick or a cheap stunt; every color and texture is necessary and meaningful.  And she uses a broad pallet, as one would expect from a flutist whose illustrious career has focused so dedicatedly to new music. Ghost Icebreaker displays Helen Bledsoe’s full range as a sound artist, and it is an impressive range indeed.” – Nicole Riner, Flutist Quarterly

CD Triologue/Leo Records:
“The musicians feed off each others strengths and imaginative powers while tendering a sense of enchantment, even during some of the garrulous movements. Bledsoe’s vast technical faculties are radiantly conveyed.” – All About Jazz

“You keep listening with interest, how moments of real joy, of tenderness and drama alternate as if you are watching life itself expand, expressed and even deepened, all through a great translation of feeling by three artists (Bledsoe, Bystrov, Lapin) who create new musical wordless languages, full of eery beauty.” –  The Free Jazz Collective

CD Hans Zender, Lo-Shu/CPO
“Ein Hörgenuss der besten Art” (“Enjoyable listening of the highest sort”) – Tilman Urbach, FonoForum