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.