Gregory Lee Newsome


Instrumentation alto flute & digital signal processing
Duration 10’
Year 2015



Download Score (PDF)

Programme Note

Ambitus has a specific meaning for a musician—the distance between the highest and lowest notes in a composition. This Latin term for “going round” was originally an accusation of exerting soft power in Ancient Rome, and is the root of the English word ambition.

This dual meaning is at the heart of Ambitus. In the first sense, the work is a literal exploration of range and register, though also a metaphorical one, traversing duration, pitch, texture, and timbre. The second sense comes from the commission, which had a single condition — the work must be a virtuosic, ambitious endeavour for both the composer and the performer.

Ambitus was commissioned by Daniel Cooper for Mark Takeshi McGregor.


This piece was premiered by Mark Takeshi McGregor on October 16th, 2015 at Open Space in Victoria.

Dr. McGregor subsequently performed it in Calgary, Winnipeg, Moncton, St. John, Montréal, and Toronto on his 2017 Canadian tour.