Saturday, August 29, 2015

the long lake between mountains with all the sky above (new music)

                                         (Photo by KMB)

I tend to keep a sort of sonic easel, a place to hold ongoing soundworks for long stretches of time, often the length of a season. I think of these long-form works as actual places I can go to,  places made of sound and space, usually inspired by my re-imagining of  real places in the world.
While there in the music, I treat the sounds, notes, timbres, and textures like paint on paper or canvas, working and playing with proportions, moods, the evocation of landscape and memory. I might keep a work going for months, listening, layering, listening again, until one day it begins to feel finished.

This latest soundwork was begun in the spring and finished in late summer. The energy behind it is the sense of a walk along the stretch of Lake Champlain shoreline from Oakledge to Perkins Pier in Burlington, Vermont. This walk takes the form of pilgrimage,  an immersion in what is there, the way  the elements experienced resonate with something deep and eternal:  a shifting and shimmering of shapes, landforms, waterway and sky, all things rearranging in slow change from angle to angle, aspect to aspect.

I find that these soundworks tell me things that I need to know: things that I might not reach in any other way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Strange Summer Light (watercolor painting)

For a few minutes on a July afternoon, just before clouds thickened and thunder rolled, the light  across Lake Champlain became very strange-- a sort of luminous, saturated, high-contrast mistiness that suffused the sky and water and shore in and around Burlington Bay.
 I stopped and made this very quick watercolor from the sea-wall at Blanchard Beach. I used very light washes contrasted with dark dry-brush pigments. I had to do a lot of scraping down to bare paper in an attempt to capture the crazy brightness that hit the sails and some places on the water.- KMB

Afternoon, Before a Summer Storm, Lake Champlain- Painting by  Kevin Macneil Brown, watercolor on paper, July 29, 2015.