It's now February 1. We are into the month of Aquarius. An air sign. Yet also tied to water. The likoni ferry accident is very prominent in the creative heart of the compositions I'm conceiving as we speak, here at Doris McCarthy's Fool's Paradise. The water theme started to emerge last fall over and over again. It's like I started to focus on it and there it was. Now I see it everywhere! Does that resonate life too then? We create in ourselves a focus, we start to consider, ponder, reflect and act on that focus. That creates a compas within ourselves that turns our vision to the things in our world that resonate that focus. They are always there, we just don't see them. So when we consciously focus on something, we essentially see it. Some might say we 'attract' it. Well, in a way yes. But I wonder if these things are already there. But that our focus has transformed the way we see the world around us. So we become aware. We start to think that it is an external force that's presenting such great opportunities. In truth it is we we who has the choice to focus on and act with awareness. This creates an energy within ourselves that aligns us with something greater, the lung that breathes us to manifest that vision. It's a beautiful partnership with the Divine, for which we can certainly celebrate and be grateful for.
The water visions keep coming:
Maritime Tour with Iselers
Song of the Sea Movie
Bluffs on Lake Ontario
Ferry & water scenes in Tru Love movie
Ship scenes in Walter Mitty
We are in Aquarius going to Pisces
Schubert Aquarius - water themes
Awareness of oil rig that sank in the Maritimes
The drops of water falling from an icicle outside the study of the McCarthy residence. Speaks so much to me.
As each awareness arrives new layers of meaning and connections are made.
Air sign Aquarius - Water connection
Water reminding me of the the 'material' & air reminding me of the spiritual.
There is an interplay of the water & air - what does a melody sound like in dead winter air - no echo - no reverb - no taper or linger it just dies. What does a melody sound like in the water. I can explore contemporary techniques and play with sounds that evoke the effect of being in air and in water.
There's also the central theme of the Wedding. Bride & groom (in Christian and Muslim expression) referring to the Bridge being us and the Groom the divine. There is the wedding of the soul with the Lord - Union. And the wedding of the groom to bride. They are different sides of the same coin.
At what point does the sound of the Divine enter the wedding scene. Is the call of 'death' or 'union' already felt? When does it touch down? And how does the wedding that's celebratory transition to the spiritual celebration.
Funny enough, there's a plate hanging in the home of Doris McCarthy that is storied to have come from her travels. It's in Arabic. I don't read Arabic but a worker who came by did and told me what it said. Believe it or not it said, La Illaha Illallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah. The Affirmation of faith for Muslims. And this is the main chant that is recited at funerals, so there's a beautiful connection to Fool's Paradise and this work that I'm embarking on here.
Syrian melody was also in my awareness through a choral composition on earthsongschoralmusic website. I happened to meet a Syrian woman at a theatre company where I was visiting who knew this song and sang it. It's about the beauty of the beautiful brunette. I'm tying it in with the wedding song being sung when the bus went into the ferry Talio(n) ka tale because it also talks about the beauty of the bride. This is interesting to me because if you look at Muslical influences in this piece there are several:
- Swahili culture - the culture in which this all happened - Tarab music - Arab/African hybrids. Also the Syrian song. So now I'm looking for a Swahili song/tune that aligns with this water theme, or a wedding song.
- Indian culture - the gujarati culture from which the family came. Gujarati wedding song.
- Muslim culture and spiritual expression - affirmations of faith and tradition of the family - chants, tunes, melodies - Text - La Illaha Ilallah, Muhammadur Rasulullah. From him we come and to him we shall return.
- Ismaili culture - from which the family comes - Ginan Aadam Aad. Verse about maa baap janamia. Also
connections to longing to be with God, bride poetry.
- British culture - the bus company, the colonial heritage family adopted, Western classical music - Specially that nuns that came to the rescue
These are magical moments and beautiful connections. It's all about meaning making and focus. Whatever your attention is on, surely you will see it. Shukranlillah Al-hamdulillah.
How all this music comes together - certainly through this connection with the wedding is left to be seen. Slowly but surely I'm collecting the material. There is also another layer of the music which is the 'sounds of the scene' the screaming, the splash, etc etc etc. The silence. The towing the bus. Etc. If melodies were impacted by those sonic 'spaces' how would they morphe. I'm excited to see what emerges! Inshallah.
Cross-stitches of Sound
August 6, 2018
"The world is so small, it's not even a world," uttered with such grace by Tanya Evanson who had just performed a Solstice poetry jam with Sheniz Janm...