Friday, July 29, 2011

summer boredom pt.2: smith-bybee lake

canoeing with my cousin this morning, we catch sight of a crude pyramid on the other side of the lake. as we make our way, we pass over a completely smooth earth-colored field on the watertop. this illusion is created by the tangle of sun-bleached plants just below the surface, pressing the water taught against the rolling wind. all along the edge of this smooth still zone however, the wind makes elaborate ripples, as if on a dune.
when we arrive at the structure it is as we had hoped--a massive beaver lodge, about 20ft. in diameter and 6ft. high, limbs whittled to classic pencil points and laid deliberately across a foundation of packed mud. the nearby treeline in both directions shows signs of past gnawing and projects underway. as we begin to circle the lodge a blue heron lifts off with a squawk from the other side. and after, awesome quiet...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chamber piece for the museum of hands and eyes

Recently, TopShake Dance and I collaborated on a performance that took place in a small dressing room at the Conduit dance studio in downtown Portland. Throughout the night, the audience would intermittently enter through a curtained doorway and sit on a bench to look and listen.


An eight-year old girl on my grandfather's side of the family was sent to America on a ship along with this ornate wood foot-pump organ, called a melodeon. Now it sways from side to side and creaks, imaginably like the ship it traveled on, when pumped. The layer in this recording that sounds like a field recording is really all the sympathetic noise from the instrument being played.
The melodeon plays itself, almost by Loren Chasse

This monoprint (here's just a detail of it) by my wife Kendra, propped on the windowsill, started me off recently on a long afternoon at the melodeon...
Of--white violet by Loren Chasse

Of--melodeon songs

This painting of a Czech landscape, which was recently given to me--after a childhood of fixating my imagination on this lonely road--necessitated a soundtrack. The music may be made as much for the frame as it is the hilltop.
Of--"hilltop figures" by Loren Chasse

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Of--"healers pt.1"

a sound from the Nu'alolo cliff trail, Kauai

summer boredom

(a synapsis of what's happened, so far)

infant ferns balanced on perfect axes beneath a canopy of green stars. the Salmon river drones quietly from a distance upon its bed of rocks.

a bird at dusk, intoning like an ocarina at long intervals on the otherwise quiet slope of the forest. i imagine the soft ping of a ride cymbal, as if played with a single brush wire, alternating with this bird's note.
a dark green leathery paddle grazes my leg and next there's the wise eye of a sea turtle meeting mine.
i looked into the eyes of fellow snorkelers and realized how we all share the 'blankness' of the fish in this state, traveling along the membrane between air and water, gracefully avoiding and absently regarding each other.

it's particularly beautiful to look up at the raindrops perforating the watertop.

a family of mountain goats disappears over a bluff of the Nu'alolo cliff trail, leaving behind an actual puff of dust that moves out over the valley momentarily and is gone.

a snare drum brushed a few hundred yards inland from where the surf overlaps the sand. how would it sound from the several towels left variously along the beach?

the bamboo forest is still and hot. the heavy trunk, with its segmented midsection rotted with different sized holes, leans where it did the last time we were here, only no wind blows through these openings. the microphone gets put away...