Experiments in Nested Soundscapes No.1

The abundance of summer has brought forth many wonderful creative connections and reconnections. In addition to the regular cohorts (Susanne Romey, Eleanor Mills and Jim Kellough), other sweet friends have been coming over to jam with soundscapes. We set up in the Sun{Ra} Room, and usually I record what we do. This week I had a special treat when Emily Smith came for dinner and to work her cello magic on the soundscapes.

Emily and I have spent many hours rehearsing over the past four years as members of The Full Shanti, a local kirtan band. Most of our kirtan arrangements were improvised, so we have spent hours improvising together as well. I culled an excerpt from the forty minutes or so we played to share with you. You will hear three different pieces, the first two are soundscapes. The last one is an orchestral ukulele chord progression that I intend to build a soundscape around. I love playing this theme soooo much. I really feel it in my heart. It is definitely inspired by my love for the theme from Downton Abbey and the soundtrack from the movie, The Piano.


Emily’s cello playing is like a big, warm hug, plus she loves to try extended techniques on the instrument AND add in percussive elements.  The two soundscapes we played were developed for Moving Meditations and an evening dance class I accompanied this past Sunday at the ADF (American Dance Festival) Studios in Durham, NC. During the Moving Meditation, Jody Cassell lead the group through movement and meditation awarenesses as Shana Adams and I filled the space with sound. Here is an excerpt from that morning with Shana improvising over the same soundscape you heard above in a larger room with people moving quietly about.

As you can hear, the soundscape has a different quality in each of these two space collaborations.

I am feeling excited about studying and molding the acoustics in the Sun{Ra} Room as a means of understanding room acoustics, mic placement, etc. I started analyzing it last year, but got pulled in other directions.

I do believe I have circled back around as Nested Soundscapes becomes one area of focus for my creative work.

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