Composition Department

Phillip Sink, Former DM Student

Flex! (2015)
for chamber ensemble


Full Score 

Program Note

I. Genuflect Before Thee
II. Thanks for being Flexible
III. Deflected Attempts
VI. Upward Infection?

I composed a set of short movements using words that contain either the Latin root flex or flect, which mean “to bend.” The first movement “Genuflect Before Thee” pits the strings against the rest of the group. Each side rudely interrupts the other until someone in the ensemble decides to give in. “Thanks for Being Flexible” is a thank-you note to the strings for being so flexible with pitch. The strings carry the movement by gliding to each pitch within the harmony while the other instruments play melodic fragments and textural goodies. The third movement “Deflected Attempts” is inspired by the myriad of YouTube videos of cats knocking objects off tables. I composed the movement with a series of rising gestures that continuously get knocked down. The final movement “Upward Infection?” is dedicated to all of the late-teens/early-20-somethings and Californians who consistently speak with an upward inflection at the end of declarative sentences…?


Phillip Sink is a composer of energetic and sometimes humorous instrumental, vocal, dance, and video/electroacoustic music. His music has been performed in the U.S. and Europe and at many conferences and festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, Art and Science Days in Bourges, France, Brevard Music Festival, SEAMUS conference, N_SEME, 2014 Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and the NASA (North American Saxophone Alliance) national conference.

Sink has won many awards and fellowships including the 2015 Dean’s Prize for chamber music at Indiana University, 2015 Innovox Ensemble’s Green Call for Scores, 2013 Kuttner String Quartet Composition Competition, 2013 NOTUS Prize, and the 2011 MSU composition competition in the categories of orchestra and chamber ensemble. Phillip was a composition fellow at the 2015 Aspen Music Festival. While at Aspen, he was awarded the 2015 Hermitage Prize by the faculty at AMFS. Most recently, he won the Best Music Submission Award at the 2015 International Computer Music Festival for his video piece Frayed Cities.

Phillip is currently a doctoral fellow at the Jacobs School of Music where he is pursuing a Doctoral degree (DM) in music composition with minors in electronic music and music theory. At Indiana University, he served as an Associate Instructor of composition where he taught courses such as Free Counterpoint, Notation, and Composition for Non-Majors. He studies electronic music with Jeffrey Hass and John Gibson. He studied acoustic composition with Don Freund, Claude Baker, David Dzubay, Aaron Travers, Sven-David Sandström, Ricardo Lorenz, Jere Hutcheson, and Scott Meister.