Tuesday, September 27, 2016

cobalt/cerulean/crossings (soundscape composition)

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 Hill.

 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.
  -KMB, September 2016.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

August Light in Motion

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

summer lake

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:

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spring Light

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.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Liminal Reflections

                                            SAILBOATS, LAKE CHAMPLAIN
                        Painting by Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor and graphite on paper, 2015

Winter weather appears to be on the horizon at last here in Vermont, after what seems to have been the longest autumn ever.  This calm stretch has been strange, but it has also offered extended opportunities to contemplate big skies, bare light on the bare landscape, and reflections on waterways that seldom remain open and free of any ice so late into December.
Reflections, light, and water were important to me in 2015, coming up again and again in my painting and writing. So, as the year ends, it seems fitting that I take some time to go inside and reflect upon the currents, shapes, shadows, and light-falls that have guided my explorations.
Among these thoughts are those of deep gratitude for you who follow the words, images, and sounds I share. It is an honor to have you partake of these offerings, these energies I receive and transmit as best as I can. Thank you for your part in the confluence!
I look forward to new adventures and explorations in 2016, including the publication of the fifth book in the Liam Dutra New England mystery series, THE ISLAND OF ANCIENT LIGHT, sometime in the fall.
I wish you all wonderful things, for right now--and the year ahead!