Sunday, November 20, 2011

Subterranean River by Stephen Blumberg

Is it co-incidence or what ?  Some unified similar incidences are occurring around me. My son is playing a piece named "Subterranean River" in California Youth Symphony Orchestra today at Flint Center in Cupertino.  I attended a lecture on Sounds of river last week and I am going to listen to this piece by Stephen Blumberg on Sounds of River.

As he describes it in his words- "Early in the process of composing this music I heard in it evocations of moving water, sometimes tranquil, sometimes rushing, even torrential. There was also a sense of underground spaces – dank, dark, cavernous, resonant, and echoing. In one passage the music slows to almost complete stillness and it suggested to my imagination a timeless, voluminous space, cathedral-like, with crystals and hanging stalactites above nearly motionless, pooling water. The various sections of the piece have tempo and character indications – tranquil, calm; murky, menacing; turbulent, rushing – that suggest different types of motion associated with the changing speed and flow of an underground river. I determined the title, Subterranean River, and as the piece progressed the music flowed through a changing succession of scenes and spaces, experienced through an imagined voyage."

I am looking forward to this symphony today. For more, go here

Subterranean River for orchestra was commissioned by the California Youth Symphony and is dedicated to Music Director and Conductor Maestro Leo Eylar.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

"A Sound Map of Rivers" and The "Bubble"

Creative Visions
Not having many active projects to work on, I have been fabricating my own projects and in the process, creative juices are flowing in my brain. May be due to this creative thinking, I keep stumbling upon creative people and artists who want to change the world with their vision. I have to share these two individuals vision.

Annea Lockwood, a composer, gave a lecture last night and shared her work with the audience. Born in New Zealand, studied in London and Holland, now living in America, Annea is fascinated by river sounds and creates a Sound Map of rivers. She has recorded the sounds of the Hudson, the Danube, and the Housatonic at various sites and interviewed people describing their association with rivers. She interweaves the river sounds with the words of people and makes installations. I heard few samples of sounds of water flowing river with changing energies. Very fascinating idea of "seeing into things" in imaginative way. For more, check out here.

Another visionary person is Richard Koshalek, director of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. He believes that museums today have to curate the public spaces and educational programs along with exhibitions.  His words: "If we can develop an educational program that's national and global in outlook, we can have an impact on cultural policy in the U.S.".  With this vision in mind, he is working with New York based Design firm, diller scofidio + renfro to design and construct a 145 tall inflatable cylindrical bubble in the existing building of Hirshhorn Museum.
Photo Credit- Smithsonian............................Photo Credit Hubpages
The "Bubble” is a pneumatic structure enclosed only by a thin translucent membrane that fits into the central open area of the building and oozes out the top and beneath its mass. The translucent interior courtyard will host global eductional events twice a year. Look at the renderings of the proposed space below.
Photo Credit - diller scofidio + renfro
Photo Credit - diller scofidio + renfro
I really admire the vision of both these individuals. The final piece or product or structure is the result of  a series of processes and collaborations. Annea's ambition of just recording various river sounds and Ricard Koshalek's vision incorporating ongoing global education exchange in the existing building are definitely noteworthy in my mind.