Homewood Studios Events Archive
July 8, 2013
IMPROVISED MUSIC AT HOMEWOOD STUDIOS
Milo Fine (drum set [bowed cymbals], orchestra chimes, B flat/E flat clarinets) / Davu Seru (cello) / Charles Gillett (guitar) / Viv Corringham (voice) / Elaine Evans (violin) / Daniel Furuta (cello)/Sam Wildenauer (bass)
Sound searching begins at 7p. Suggested donation $5-$10.
coalescing thought: expanding imagination
if there is a color to my childhood, it is the blank gray of a winder day in minnesota. sky blending into horizon without much change in tone or intensity. if there is a sound, it could be a lone snare drum playing somewhere in the forest. winter forest. gray and undefined as the sky closing around it. ~~ odd l lines to write in july, not far from the summer solstice, temperature hovering around ninety outside. but then i listened to a joseph brodsky short story this morning. and before that, one by italo calvino. either one can push a listener along way toward the unexpected, the surprising, the unanticipated image. ~~ the voices of this music do the same. there is no listening with the idea of recognizing a phrase, a passage, a "tune." instead, one attends with completely open ears. one is open to the sculpting of sound, accepting of becoming 'sculpted.' a limitless range of memories, associations, storylines, flowing through the mind of each listener...and musician/performer.
a loon. a loo-oon. crying. inside out. a lo-ooo-on. one bird. in the middle., of a lake. sum-warmed. still. the bird still. in the water. striations of colder water. below. darker. a deep unknown pulsing. a throbbing in the blood. urging itself. up. toward the light. toward the chiming of the light. toward accelerating movement. toward a chimney chute in the underwater landscape spiking that urge upward. narrowing. growing more intense. louder. keening. candent. ~~ a flight of bees slicing the air above the lake water. uninterested in the loon. lo-ooo-n. unable to hear its japing. more attuned to the music lifting from the lily pad flowers anchored at the far end of the lake. the breathing of animals going silent at the edge of the water. waiting...
friction. one surface meeting another. fric-tion. one syllable rubbing against another. the moving away of one note from the next. rendering memory dangerous. might cause an accident...remembering. the sound road littered with the detritus of looking back. the way ahead open, inviting. the way back cluttered, impassable, dangerous, rusty. ~~ standing still. a way to become overheated. moving into the unknown, cool. cooler. perhaps cold as the winter day of my childhood. gray sky of longing, of the desire to be loved. cymbal roll in the background. the impending, but always not yet, glorious entrance...
when a seed sees itself, underground, germinates, splits itself open. sends root filaments out and down (reaching for water) and step up and out (searching for light), music happens. the moving aside of grains of dirt, parting of the moist darkness takes on a voice. vibrations like a child's swing, supported by metal chains, moving slightly in response to the rotating of the earth. a melodic voice slides down the truck of a linden tree. into the dark ground.
heartbeat of a large animal. rhino. hippo. whatever. rising from sleep on the muddy shore. the surge of blood needed to sustain activity. moving. shortness of breath. a need to pause. to allow the breath to catch up. inspire the blood. before walking away. into the bush. into the water.
nightsounds of the forest erupt. symphony of creature sounds. night wing. chirrup and chatter. hoot and piping. shriek bleat buzz shshsh. twit. whistle. monkeys dancing on low hanging limbs. a downed aircraft sending its honing signal sig - nal out into the universe. as its battery. runs. down. the wind, breathing like a tired wolf, overruns the weakening sig-nal...
what's inside a crackerjack box? a surprise. more than one. the first, the sound the box makes when opened. (listen.) before even the rattling of the candied popcorn inside. before the crunch. and then, before the taste. all that music we so often fail to notice, so hungry are we for the prize. the best things in the box are freer than free. fragment of a beethoven trio. dance phrase from a harry parch opera. unused noes from steve reich. or the floor right here, littered with notes from a few seconds ago, others filling the air, then falling too, into the past. what's in a crackerjack box?
the door chime rings in a 1950s style ranch house in a suburb of chicago. bensonville perhaps. or lombard. the children, already put to bed upstairs, stories read and covers tucked to chins, scamper down the hall to the hall to the head of the stairs to learn who is calling on the adults of the house. bringing what news from the outside and adult world the carefully and quietly listening children upstairs scour for revelations. everything numbing...senseless...incomprehensible. until...they put aside the desire to understand. surrender to the melody of adult voices, rhythm of their back and forth, the surprising punctuations of laughter, rising overlap of voices, the diminishing of pausings, of interstices. the tumbling out of sound onto the floor. moving outward, like rings in water, stone-dropped. the expanding rings rocking the lily pads at the far end of the lake. the ducks in the reeds just off shore, talking over the taste of algae they had for lunch.
someone digs in her tiny purse. extracts an even tinier notebook. begins to write tiny, tiny notes. first drum noes. then cymbals. and cello. voice notes. notes for the strings - bass, cellos, violin. all these noes. in the tiny notebook. of the room. written to be read later. what will they sound like then? when the musicians are driving home? or asleep? when the tiny notebook is back inside the tiny purse? the pen loosed from the hand that was holding it. writing with it.
something lightfooted slips through the dark. irregular steps. like dancing to the sound of water dripping from the eaves after a summer rain. something not altogether footed moves on sound across the air. maverick air. just in advance of a storm gathering. ready to break. the negative feeling in the air opening the sky to possibility. green where blue just was. rangy clouds where clear sky just was. every bird in every tree silent. leaning into the coming storm. voicing one protest each. between the silences. tucking their heads under their winds. and enduring...
out of a moment of rest, a sentence of quiet, leaks a scatter of noise. shuffle urgent. vibration an expression of desire. what is the frequency of a stone? when whistling does its whirling atoms make in the neat stasis of its polished egg shape? what thundering goes on inside we mortals on a different wavelength? and how to bring ourselves in tune with the eggy rock? edgy rock. edgy roach. easy reach. yeasty rush. hasty rash.
through the jumble and bounce of several instruments - percussed, pleckt and plucked - slides the steady voice of the bowed cello. not insistent. sonorously patient. uninterested in heroics. unconcerned with notoriety. wishing only to breathe an undertone of stability, of melody, into the fray.
the baby upstairs is crying. mewling. the baby upstairs plays with her voice. learns it. discovers it. one day she will become an insect. singing to the flowers she visits for the golden pollen that sticks to her legs and changes the pitch of her voice. the baby upstairs finds a new way to cry. from inside. out. high to. low. surprises herself. giggles at the novel sounds. plays with them like a new toy. the baby upstairs is a theremin. she waves her arms and modulates her voice. everyone downstairs pauses. listens. what they hear is the transformation of the baby into a sigh.
a door swings forth and back on its well-oiled hinges. the fl-wap sound as the wood passes the frame on its way to the other side of its arc. each journey from one side of fl-wap to the other penduluming down to silence. intensity draining away.
no one entering or leaving. no one home. just the noise of the stars falling through their orbit of the night sky.
waves wash solemnly against the shore.
lily pads undulate, anchored as they are to the underneath. winds sift deftly through the leaves. and out over the water. waves brush the shore. moon, like a great washed hip bone of some prehistoric beast, wanders across the sky. the eyes of small animals flash. from the weeds near the shore.