I started the year discouraged about some
projects, then had a period of reflection about how many people have
business ideas, creative efforts, professional projects, and even
relationships that don't work out. It's as if the universe needs
"voids" as a background contrast
for the things of any duration to take shape and stand out in contrast.
Obstacles that seem to impede us might make sense from a higher or
more distant or future vantage point, but we can't see
it while we are forced to bounce off or around them to find our way.
I didn't have a theme but some music gradually took shape. It was
months before I came across a quote by actor Michael Fox regarding his
own life's challenge. When asked how he could face it, he said:
don't look at
life as a battle or as a fight. I say "living with" or "working
doesn't mean resignation - it means understanding that something is
what it is and that there's got to be a way through it. I look at it
like I'm a fluid that's finding the fissures and cracks and flowing
Near the end of composing these pieces, a wonderful turn-around
had happened; I was lucky enough that my alternate life in landscape
design had resulted in several projects, including an ecological study
area at a high school (through my other activity, evocations.org).
influences were as varied as old hymns, a repetitive video background I
heard running on a used
TV at the Salvation Army, some old sheet music, and church choir music,
but none recognizable enough to need for me to credit them by the time
they were worked over. The tree frog appeard several times in his
favorite spot on a hawthorne twig, so his photo appearance
relates to "A Very Small Space." I think even people have such spots,
only a favorite chair.
The "Open Fields" title refers to my almost daily walks on Jobe's Farm
where a pair of hawks has taken up residence. Some may think of
meadows or even deserts as places like this. I have watched the
soar far above in what looks like peaceful meditation, although for
is natural survival. Eridemus is a constallation that spills from
the vase of Aquarius, my birth sign. There is a chord sequence from the
Fields piece that appears as a ripple again in Eridemus. I wanted the
linkage to hint of a solid "earth" reflected in a "river of
stars" above it at night.
Guided Journey tells of feelings that there is a wind or force
through circumstances, yet hard to see or feel at times...rising and
fading, that needs a resolute "stay on course" alignment (center
portion of piece) until the outcome
seems to ratify what was felt beneath the surface at the start of the
task. And of course, Uncertainty is what we face all the time, so I
chose to call it "Normal," in the hope that this cycle of pieces points
to a source that carries us through.
I don't think of myself as a songwriter, but three
pieces from the past came to me with words, shown on
Alamance CreekMusic the
few years as piano solos
(scores with only
the instrumental accompaniment) using different names. Since one of the
new pieces is also a
"song," I've decided to group them all together. I doubt
they will ever be sung, but think of them with the lyrics as "thoughts"
in both words and sounds. The main graphic
above comes from the newest lyrics for "River of Faith."
If you want to go directly to the piano versions only, they are here:
MP3's for the songs without voice can be heard at http://lesmuskey.libsyn.com/webpage
(click on the dots). I used some experimental instruments on
these, and they are underneath the new pieces described
above, towards the bottom of the list.