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Flagello, Orange Wide_edited_edited.jpg
The profile of Gala Flagello in a checkered dress with closed eyes turning away from the camera.

Fake Smile

Year Composed





Solo flute

Program Notes

Fake Smile (2016, arr. 2020) was commissioned by saxophonist Maggie Weisensel for her lecture-recital focusing on women composers in contemporary music. She asked that this piece somehow reflect my personal experiences as a woman composer, and to that end, Fake Smile explores the feeling of social exhaustion and the veneer of excitement at public events and formal gatherings. I often find myself having to exert a high, bright energy in these situations, often responding to unfriendly attitudes and comments with a forced smile. In discussing this learned reaction with other women, including the commissioner, I realized it was universal. This translates to Fake Smile with the use of rubato, cadenza-like sections and relentless fast passages—the juxtaposition of what we feel versus what we project.

Additional Information

Arrangement for flute premiered by Michael Avitabile at Connecticut Summerfest 2020 Virtual Fundraiser Gala.



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