Return to Leslie's Pieces


The sheet music for Jobe's Farm can be found here:

    Jobe's Farm is an "ordinary" piece of nature along Alamance Creek, and this is an attempt to share its personality with selections of music that seemed to express certain moods or changes that I found there with the passage of the year. It started when I walked down the trail early one day after a January snow to try out a new camera. The morning before, when the snow was falling, I had improvised a bit and on the walk, the idea struck me not to name the new piece after the earlier flurry, but after the stream. I found it at a stage where it was still moving and causing fanciful shapes as it interacted with the lingering crust of ice, just hours from being erased into water again.

The original idea actually came as a total scheme that flashed on at once: that I should add a dawn subject (recalling the Noyes piece I'd found few days before), and to complete a set of 4 with a Spring and Fall series that I knew could be focused around predictable events like the arrival of the humble colonies of wildflowers called "Mayapples". That would represent water and sunlight as essential for life, and the 2 stages of nature which draw the most attention to its cycles at this latitude.
Within a couple of weeks, I trudged out again, right before a sunrise thinking it wasn't going to yield much that morning without any bright cloud effects, and because the rolling land and trees would hide the sun until it was quite high...only to find by the most amazing coincidence (to a non-astronomer anyway) that it was a perfect time to see the setting moon. Halfway finished, I thought. But while waiting for the Spring to come, I discovered more historic music I wanted to use. Then the question wasn't about how to write or find a piece for the ideas, but what ideas would go with the extra pieces? An amazing day I found the old orchard trees full of butterflies and bees, and the idea of the pond in its tranquility and a night walk helped complete the project. Even the rows of cutting flowers in the Orchard appeared as if to help me. Mr. Jobe told me that he had only put out one row for the first time the previous year, then assumed they would not come back, but they re-sowed themselves in abundance.
The moon is the cover photo because there is a connection it has with the seasons. During this work I learned that it steadies the earth from having a more serious "wobble," which would result in shorter and more turbulent fluctuations possibly making life as we know it impossible. While the sun gives light, the moon guides the earth's steady and gentle transitions, acting as a silent influence to the emergence and dormancy we see on land along with the tides of the sea.
This is for the places we pass by and the music we rarely hear, and for the imagination they can can nourish. I always hope to reach another mind who enjoys such things as the early stages of opening dogwoods or a transformed winter stream. I know I have seen them more closely myself by following the impulse that seems to know where they are, and that leads me there.
Copyright 2004.
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