Monday, September 11, 2006

After the Summer Rain

Art of the States is a website that includes a range of free music samples from American composers. One of these is sound artist Jorge Boehringer, whose Fresnel Lens Ø7: An Awkward Squad was inspired by the landscape at Point Reyes, California. Boehringer explains that “Point Reyes (which, incidentally, resides on a different tectonic plate than the rest of California) is a place of awe for human beings. Attempts to civilize this place repeatedly have failed. Fog at night often makes driving along the thin strips of land a potentially fatal undertaking; lighthouses tumble into the sea one after the other, unable to withstand the presence of the dialogue between ocean and rock...” The title of this piece “refers to the type of lens on the lighthouse at Point Reyes National Seashore, and the 'awkward squad' is the name given to a group of pelagic cormorants, but carries with it the connotation of stumbling movement.”

Other compositions with a landscape link at this site are Okkyung Lee’s On a Windy Day, which recalls the sound of Korean temple bells blowing in gusts of wind, Zhou Long’s four Poems from Tang, including a setting of Wang Wei’s Hut Among the Bamboo, and Hideko Kawamoto’s After the Summer Rain, a Rilke-inspired evocation of “a summer forest, including rain pouring onto trees, shiny silver spider webs, and dark wet ground.”

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