Monday, August 16, 2010

August 14th, 10:00 hike

In sharp contrast to the previous days, Saturday was sunny and warm, but not TOO warm, and the wind was fairly calm so the birds were out in full force and this time quite audible. The hike started with a young couple from my home town of Bloomington MN though they did go to Bloomington Jefferson rather than my cross town alma-mater of Bloomington Kennedy. But then again, nobody's perfect : )

As the sun was shining and it was slightly windy, we did get a good mix of water, wind, and bird noises for the meditation. The water fall near the bridge was raging and the quarry cliffs were awash with water features from small droplets in the distance to full on waterfalls that had not been there even the day before despite the rains that had fallen previously. there were many places where the couples listening far exceeded my expectations and I realized that if I was going to get them to move to the next place I would somewhat have to interrupt their experience and start walking quite loudly to indicate I was moving. That was very gratifying for me and I really never wanted to interrupt what they were listening to. All the various water features gave us interesting perspectives on the rock formations as we would hear them from far away and then be able to go in close to hear more minute details and then sound environment near these formations changed dramatically. The water really works better than most of the musical ideas I had earlier envisioned putting in these spaces.

This was also the first hike in which I had someone playing the optional drum solo. I will refrain from revealing the location so as not to ruin the surprise for future hikers, but its sound made just the blending with the river I wanted and emerged out of a wash of sound and helped as I had thought it would, to accentuate the man made features of the park.

The singers were not sleeping on this hike as the sound of birds singing at one point surrounded us on all sides in the woods leading back to the river and powerhouse as well as when we climbed the stone stairs near the end of the hike. This made for a great closing moment before we followed the river back to teachers overlook. I was really happy to hear their comments after the hike and think I am going to learn a great deal about the human element of this piece as I do this first weekend of performances. Everyone will hear something different and everyone's exploration of the sounds will in should be completely unique and individual.

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