safe passage: graphic score for canoe installation
safe passage: Graphic Score for Canoe Installation
Instructions for play with biographical notes…
The graphic score consists of an eight-foot-long narrow sheet of paper made in the shape of Rainbow Creek from the inlet to the entrance of Upper Rainbow Lake in the Laurentian mountains in Québec.
It is Necessary to travel on this Creek to get to the Family Cottage on the Lake.
This map is to be read from North to South, noting that the Creek runs Northeast to Southwest.
The Northeastern most point is the inlet, the Southwestern most, the outlet into the Lake.
The score is divided into four movements: rocks, tamaracks, beavers, and water.
The journey down the Creek is marked by bubbles that rise to the surface as the canoe passes.
These bubbles contain the air of my ancestors’ whispered directions.
It is important to note that each movement is profoundly influenced by the passing of the seasons, affecting the way one can travel upon the water.
In Summertime, the Creek is languid, some might say lazy.
At that time, rocks reveal themselves while concealing the greater part of what they are – it is important to note their territories.
When Fall arrives, the anticipation of winter leads to a quickening of the current.
Rounding the curve of the Creek, the tamaracks entice eyes upward, showing off their Cadmium Yellow fronds against the Payne’s Grey Sky.
Their needles pelt the Creek with their secrets.
Come Winter, the Creek is blanketed with snow over ice, reducing the clamour of the creek to a murmur.
Save for its escape at the deliberate chaos of the Beaver Dam – where despite the usual diligence of the caretakers, and their efforts to contain it, the Creek sneaks through the gaps and chinks, determinedly pushing through the frozen mud until it forgets itself and gurgles loudly in triumph – rousing its captors from their house…
Until Spring pours over the dam, hurrying the Creek toward the Lake.
The arrow grass slaps it as it rushes by, coerced by the wind, and the foolish young beavers are tricked into slapping their tails by the sound.
And then the canoe arcs forward, slicing through water, and the waves themselves slap its side, as if to congratulate it on a job well done.
The number of musicians traveling the Creek at any one time may be variable.
Solastalgia may be induced as the Creek shifts its bed due to logging.
The time to travel the Creek is also mutable, depending on the current and the ever-changing improvements to the Beaver Dam.
Many, many thanks to Terri Hron and Norm Adams for all their work in making this recording possible - I am ever grateful.
About My Graphic Scores…
Graphic scores in general do not have to contain any musical notation – although some may incorporate notations in unusual configurations.
This score contains no musical notation whatsoever.
The work here has no temporal or pitch indications. However, the overall length of the work may be pre-determined.
It does not include directions as to what kind or how many instruments are to be used (including voice).
It will produce a unique piece each time it is played.
It will encourage close listening – a necessary thing in these kinds of dialogues.
It will (hopefully) inspire experimentation.
It is not a free improvisation.
Structured improvisations provide a framework to examine ideas, themes, and sound.