Thursday, August 1, 2013

Offshore, Oakledge: Waves, Stone, Sky. (new soundwork)

For my 100th post here, I would like to share a new piece of music inspired by a place that I return to again and again. I find that soundworks like this-- concerned with texture, shape, and mystery; with sound as light and shadow and color-- are a way to manifest and share feelings and perceptions that come from nature and landscape, to transfer the moods and energies found in power of place. ( This piece is the second section of my recent work, THE HARBOR AT DAWN. )

It’s a place of power and repose: the big, wide bay beyond and before smaller bays; the water, sky, and mountains always changing-- whether the lake is calm, choppy, or wild with breaking waves; Rust-red rock cliffs and shore, pine and cypress (cedar) islands, the water changing colors and texture, ( Last week I saw it, for just a few minutes, become a  luminous viridian, with shifting streaks of turquoise.) In the afternoons, spangles of sun-bright shimmer cast across from the west.

And that’s IT:  motion, even in stillness--like those mountains on the other shore, layered green and  blue and gray, solid and heavy nearby, or faded misty distant; sunlight finding ways through clear sky or cloudscape, in  streaks, shadows,  rays;  gold,  white, silver.


  Landforms on the water:  dark Juniper Island; the rock island Odzihozo ( in Abenaki cosmology, the creator, come to eternal rest and strength at the heart of this water mountain rock world he made…. )   To an onshore perception these islands seem to  change  shape, color, and  position, hour by day by season.   Stillness and strength and motion.


   Most of all today, the sounds of water, of wind, of boats;  of waves, breaking against rock, hollow, resonant. Tuned to the  tones and textures of  power, repose.

 (The sonic layers of this section are: Recordings made by the composer ,of  wind, rock, and water at Oakledge on Lake Champlain, tuned and filtered via software; Two layers of  improvisations on  electric baritone guitar performed in real-time, with long, layered delays.)