Sunday, March 19, 2006

Report from the Space of Sunday

There is now cause for celebration and jubilation, I have completed the composition for trumpet, trombone, piano and percussion. It is still in need of an edit, but it is in rehearsal, I hear and will be performed at the end of May in Seattle. It would be cool to see it, as it is my Seattle debut, but such is my life, I am happy that it is being performed. Actually, this will be the first performance that I do not directly supervise. It is a bit of an interesting experience for me. I have to trust that I put everything in the score and that I made all of my decisions correctly. What a fabulous learning experience. It will also be interesting to see how people develop and shape the piece without my input.

I have returned to trying to complete the clarinet and piano piece (above picture if you were curious, or not for that matter). I have set a six week work flow schedule. It will probably take a little longer, but I want to figure out where and how I misjudge my projected work and learn from that. So learning and self discovery seems to be a theme here. I would imagine that I work to little upfront and keep thinking that I will be able to pull it together at the end, in a word procrastination. Yet, I get a lot out of turning the piece over and over in my head. I guess I just need to finish them before I die and then all will work out.

In Alaska news, Jeff King won the Iditarod. We went to both the ceremonial (Anchorage) and the official (Willow) starts. It was a great time and quite a different experience. I was very surprised at how small of the dogs were. I always imagined that they would be much larger, they are gorgeous none the less. They make a huge racket though. I made some audio recordings and was hoping to post a remix, but I don't like what I have done, so it is not posted yet. The soudscape was quite wonderful. You had the general milling about of people, the announcers diatribe, but then add 83 mushers with roughly 11 dogs each. In Anchorage I found the sound to be dominated by the overhead helicopters. In Willow the Helicopters were mixed with snowmachienes. But the ultimate moment was when they were in the bulk of the teams and all of the noisy humans were distracted and paying attention to the starting. The sound was just a cloud of dog barking and whining and general happiness. The other sound the I really enjoyed was as the sled passed by, the piterpatter of the dogs and the woosh of the blades against the snow/ice. All in all in was a feast for the ears. I'll see if I can edit out some good clips so I can post audio examples.

Outside the snow is falling. The snowfall is composed of large fluffy flakes, the kind you can catch in your mouth and gain gratification from. Walking about, there is that wonderful type of quiet that only happens when there is snow in the air. It mus be that there is so much stuff, ie. snow, to absorb sound that it just allows for a general reduction in ambient noise. I really love snow like that, it is so peaceful in how it quiets the world down. I don't think a recording of this experience would do it justice. Thinking back, I now rememeber that this was one of the sonic images that I had in mind when I created my composition Sofater. The idea, as I was relating to saxaphonist Glenn White today is the that the piece presents a glimpse of the inner piece and tranquility that one glimpses in these sorts of settings. It is also my hope that the combination of the visual and audio stimulation will allow the listener to contemplate and or enter that space. Sort of the the "Space of Sunday", that imaculate resonance of ohm if you will. There is probably an inch or so on the ground and a good deal more to come. It is wet and cold. I am happy that I live inside and not outside, as I am cold and tired.


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