There are certain physical spaces from my memory that reappear in dreams: spaces which, in waking, hold specific associations of time and place but in sleep become a stage for new growth and exploration. Like a mnemonic "memory palace", each space has its consistent elements and a structure through which I move freely. This process of exploring and re-exploring familiar places is more consciously echoed in my work with acoustic materials and electronics. I use microphones and simple computer processing to magnify the subtle complexities of sounds and to reveal the inherent characters of ordinary objects and instruments. My works on this disc stem from the conscious and subconscious aspects of this process, and they share with Kaija Saariaho's piece an architectural intent to create a spatial environment for the listener's imagination.
The triangle holds a world of sounds, many of which are only apparent when one holds it close to the ear like a tuning fork. In Diving Bell (2002), I separate and extract overtones by striking triangles at different points and with different materials, using a handheld microphone as a stethoscope and re-sculpting these discrete overtones in a meditation on a single sound.
Crawlspace (2002) searches for expanse within a claustrophobic environment. It is literally computer music: the sounds are generated acoustically by the drives and components of my noisy laptop, processed by the laptop (therefore causing the computer to generate more acoustic sounds), and accompanied by some digital noise spat out by an incompatible audio interface.
Six Japanese Gardens (1993) by Kaija Saariaho is based upon impressions of gardens around Kyoto, spaces of contemplation that stylize natural landscapes by abstracting them in both form and substance. Performed on a large set-up of percussion instruments and augmented by an electronic part, each movement frames a specific garden and guides the listener through it by developing rhythmic and coloristic patterns.
For two years I lived by a river in Vermont, where I harvested many resonant stones and made recordings of my walks. Talking to Vasudeva (2002) explores the intermutability of stone and water: the ease with which stone impels water to follow its form and the persistence of water to wear stone smooth. Taking its name from Siddhartha's confession to the ferryman, Vasudeva, in the book by Herman Hesse, the piece illustrates a process of expression, acceptance, healing, and transformation.
- note by Nathan Davis