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For the fifth anniversary of Alamance CreekMusic (July 2003), I have added this section to provide some images to pair up with at least a few of the pieces stored here. I have wanted to do this for some time, but kept putting the idea aside.... until a small event finally motivated me.

 

In the sping of 2003, a wild bird built a natural nest in a wreath of woven branches on my piano teacher's front door. When I first saw it as I arrived for a lesson, I recalled my piece "A Place for Everything" (which had actually been written after I saw a perfectly circular spider's web across the top of a garden bucket). A picture of the nest on that wreath didn't work out, but I started collecting more images in my daily rounds...some that I knew actually inspired particular pieces (like the Sunflower field)...or that I thought connected to certain pieces. Then, it occurred to me that I might also be able to use old photos I had already taken, the kind we all have in a cookie tin or cardboard box, and so I emptied those on the bed to see what would happen.

 

I had forgotten until I saw them again: how Nature's power sometimes forces the veil of ordinary life to flutter and to yield a brief opening so we can glimpse beyond. Then, our artforms allow us to convey and re-ignite the human responses to such moments. We've all had the experience of stepping for an instant outside the stream of ordinary "knowing," and when we make some form of record, it is in the hope that we can safekeep the glimpse so that whenever the record is seen or heard, at least some part of the original experience will return again.

 

Apparantly every day that we live on this side of the realm, we pass by it, hidden in some hill or field nearby, while our minds occupy themselves with tasks to do, meals to eat, and all those challenges of survival. But have you noticed that the routine duties all blur and fade in later recollections? What if that was all you kept from your passing time? I think the sum of "truer" moments feeds what comes out of the soul eventually as music, whether we write or interpret another's pieces. At any rate, I found that snapshots taken years ago worked as music images just like those made "intentionally" after I got the idea from the birdnest. I decided I could pick out photos in response to thinking of pieces, as well as I could think of pieces from the experience of knowing certain places.

 

I love nature, and I love the piano. Having this website allows me to combine them. What a great thing to have access to such an invention! Anyway, the size of the files had to be small to save loading problems from my unrealiable modem connection, and that made the images less polished, even accidentally a bit more like paintings....which is okay, since this is all about impressions more than science. In case anyone wonders "where are the humans?" by the way: they are there. All but a few of the wilder subjects show -or at least imply- our human presence in some way (and I only got to the wild places because of the roads we have built).

 

I believe the things I found are no more special than those you can find wherever you live. Mainly, I hope the collection conveys from my small corner of it, a trace of that infinite realm we can only know with a special sense. I believe it is just outside and underneath the surface world and that it can come through the most ordinary reality once we develop the sense that finds it.

 

 

 

Thoughts on the subject of one piano piece:

....a wind drifting seed

Some people call them stars in the grass; some people think you can make a wish on them. The humble dandelion. Although despised by many, the dandelion is cherished by others. To herbalists, it is considered a nutritious healing herb with a medicinal reputation dating back more than 1,000 years. By roadside or mountainside, it flowers every month of the year throughout the world, a fitting symbol of life. Even for those of us who live with humble talents, may all our best works take flight....like those symbolic seeds, we never know where they will land.