crossing 2- painting and scanograph by Kevin Macneil Brown, 2016.
Crossing the broad waters of Lake Champlain,
or even the deep contemplation of such a crossing, can be a transformative
experience. My intent in making this long-form soundscape composition was to
transfer the energies and possibilities of a journey on the lake in ways that
might resonate with outer and inner thoughts and sensations.
In the outward experiencing of the water, sky, shifting
light and shorelines, something also happens inside the self.
The piece is made up of the following layers:
- Recordings made by the composer at the Burlington,
Vermont waterfront on Lake
Champlain. These include the sounds of waves, boat motors, ferry
horns, birds, and random voices, including a pre-recorded sight-seeing
description broadcast from a tour boat on the water.
- Transformations of those on-site recordings,
made by processing pitch, duration, harmony, timbre, and spatial relationships.
(This layer is actually made up of 3 layers.)
-A guitar improvisation made with a
scale derived by ear from the previous layer. (This section is also presented alone
with the title “Cobalt and Cerulean.”)
-A spoken text taken from the
appendix of TWO CENTURIES OF FERRY BOATING ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN by Ralph Nading
Using the proportion
of 5:3 as a guide to structure and arrangement, these layers were assembled in
the multi-track and mixed.
The piece can be listened to from beginning to end as a
journey, or can simply play as background and be dipped in and out of at random
or as desired. One might also let the
soundscape lead to sleep. My experience so far is that it reveals new details
and sounds very different with each listening—and with each way of listening.
In August the light and sky and water are in constant motion. The lake responds, reflects. Painting is a welcome challenge, a chance to engage the senses-- and whatever skills I might have-- toward the end of making images that come from not just what I see, but also what I feel in deeper layers. These three watercolors were made from inside the changing light, sky, and water of a single day in early August at Burlington Bay -KMB
The first day of summer was breezy and hot. It was strange to have 90 degree weather with so much breeze, so much motion on the lake surface. A good day for painting at the Burlington waterfront, although the wind made it a bit of a challenge, especially in the morning.
Perkins Pier, Breezy Morning
Oakledge, First Day of Summer
Paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and graphite on paper, 6/20/16)
In honor of the lake and the longest days of summer, I offer this video combining poetry, music, and waterfront footage:
A clear April day brought a range of blues, of changing light and shadow, with the lake surface as still and calm as ever I have seen it. A perfect time to celebrate spring with a day of painting outdoors.
Paintings by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor, graphite, and marker on paper, April 2016.