emanations...footpaths...rubbings...implied places...sounds through the walls...voices through the clouds...listening to children...listening to leaves...listening to people listening...laying down an ear and walking away.
From another late summer visit to the mouth of the Hoh River and the beach at Oil City--a curious name for such an absence. Massive sitka logs piled by water and time. Among them, in what almost seem like rooms, one can duck out of the wind and sit on varying floors of driftwood, ovoid rocks, or sand. A full moonrise not long after sunset, beginning high in the hollows of the forest's edge and arcing to a resting point by early morning on the sea. But for its seagulls, wind, surf and crows, it's a quiet place until it's stirred...
Some scenes from this season's work by choreographer Jim McGinn and Top Shake dance company. 'Jamb' is based, conceptually and poetically, but far from literally, on Jim's experiences working in a molybdenum mine in Colorado. I composed the music and mixed it live for each performance.
There's over a month of nights this time of year in Portland when hundreds of people gather on the grass of the Chapman School to watch the swifts returning for the day in a turbulent display before funneling into the towering brick chimney.
(nearby, a grandmother in a straw hat sits quietly dividing her attention between me and the actions of her
daughter and grandson, who are redirecting the flow of the stream toward their
enormous sand castle.. "i'm so glad
there's somebody who notices the small things. now at least i know i'm not the only
one!" she chuckles to me.)
From a crook in the valley
floor, I hear the long wires lead away from here with their thrum among the
wind--over and out to those places that you observed, seemingly with
half-closed eyes. I know that just
over that not too distant ridge is the village of monstrous eyelids on
outstretched arms, and the broken house with its fixed gaze.
Your hepaticas fill the
nearby swamps and an unearthly material vibrates across the treelines.
You painted the interstitial
kingdom, the insect chorus, and the trenches of a night sky. And you painted the way death calmly
sits beside its bed in the rain.
And now a small voice arrives
in spring like two rings from a bell.
For years now, I've been working with paper as a sort of tympanum for sound-making and as a material for imaginary landforms--under titles variously using the idea of the footpath. I've always wanted to properly document the state of the paper at the end of a performance, all covered in sand, pine needles, filings, pebbles, glass, or dust...variously folded, wrinkled, stained or torn. This week my friend Matty Sidle helped me 'cheat' a bit by setting up the performance situation (without an actual performance!) and, with natural and artificial lighting, shoot some video and stills. Here's the first...with many more to follow.
On a field trip to the Oregon World Forestry Center last week, two of my students (ages 7 and 8) called me over to listen to them singing into an echolocation simulator. From nearby speakers, bat recordings played....
On a field trip to the Oregon World Forestry Center with my students last week, I was thrilled to find an exhibit in a side room dedicated to children's works from the Reggio Emilia school system in Italy. Much of the show was documentation of young children's work with sound and listening as well as their designs for sound sculptures. I was reminded to pick up 'The Hundred Languages of Children' again and to keep reading and thinking about how to transpose Reggio practices to the context of what we're doing at Springwater School.