letters from the north

Stormy Seas: Classical compositions distilled to clashes and clangs

One of the sound pieces I am working on for my next show features symphonies inspired by the sea/antarctica/ships sinking. This includes Vaughn Williams' Sinfonia Antarctica and Bridge's The Sea: 4. Storm from the early 1900's. Extracting the clashes, blasting horns along with some quieter sections of bass lines and soprano soloists' fluttering voices, I am hoping that the outcome and mixing will mimic Shackleton's ship being crushed by the ice. Bangs! Crashes! And not necessarily in rhythm at times. The Endurance did not get crushed all at once, but rather over a series of days. It was caught on moving film using a kinematograph-camera by the expedition's documenter: F. Hurley, who had gone on previous Antarctic expeditions and was no slouch to danger.



The show will feature a few photographs as well: A cup, a flag, a cliff, a gray. I am trying to utilize some recent Pittsburgh snowy ledges and cliffs that I often see on my commute to work. And the blueness of the winter mornings cast certain shadows and colorations that cannot be captured at other times of the year.