Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Home, New CD...

Such a year..could I ever have imagined such a year as this? Finger surgery (still a huge problem playing the harp!), selling my Seattle house, switching from classroom to on-line course teaching, moving to BC, living and loving the summer months here, Fall travels in Ireland and the Mediterranean, and through it all, recording and editing a new cd...with dearly beloved friends Shiho and Ann...together we are ShAnLi, and the new cd of kotos, flutes, and harps respectively, is called Tethys, and will be in our anxious hands by Dec 1...the day I leave for several weeks in Mexico with 2 of my 3 gorgeous daughters!

Wot a life, I tell you...a time of change, transition, re-balancing, re-discovery of boundaries, re-uniting with family and landscape...

So if you're still reading this, you're as much an explorer as I, and I look forward to posting a few pictures and adventures from Mexico in a few short weeks!

ps - there are some stories to go with some of my tracks on Tethys...see the comment below if you like!


oceana vox said...

Origin stories for my tracks on Tethys...November, 2007

La Playa, 2006 and Wave Form, 2007

Beaches have always held me in thrall, and the beaches of the Baja peninsula no less than anywhere else. In this case, with the little harp in hand, as it always is when I travel, the initial improvisation that became La Playa showed up while playing the setting sun into the sea. So the name quickly followed. The surf intro for Wave Form and also La Playa was recorded at Sandy Beach, South Island, New Zealand. The pleasure I get from improvising with Ann and Shiho prompted me to suggest that we play an improvisational opening to La Playa in the same tuning, and thus we have Wave Form.

Slip Stream, 2005

Slip Stream began while recording a cricket and a trickle of stream in Blacktail Canyon, one of the many tributary streams carving its own slot canyon as it empties into the Colorado River, about ¾ of the way along a 7 day raft trip of the Grand Canyon. Somehow in all this paradise I managed to be sick in body and heart, and then couldn’t even tune the little harp. But at the bottom of all the majesty and a billion and a half years of earth history, the entry pattern of this little piece emerged blowing a reluctant creative spark to life. More of the piece emerged in Sicamous, BC 2 weeks later during the hot slow summer days while we prepared for the week’s run of Mid Summer Night’s Dream. And the last 2 sections showed up on a beach a month later, while deep in recovery from the summer’s intensity and illness, floating daily in the warm healing waters of the Yucatan Caribbean. The musical intention is to follow a stream from its birthing headwaters to its mouth in the mother ocean. The stream sounds you hear were recorded in Blacktail Canyon and along the banks of the Colorado River; and the surf comes from a beach off the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, April 2006, thanks to my daughter Camille who shared her free flight tickets to New Zealand with her mum.

Salmon Arm and Island Spring, 2007

After more than 26 years living in the US, I returned home to the rural BC interior in April 2007. While busking in front of a bank in the lovely lakeside town of Salmon Arm, one sunny afternoon in early May, this rhythm popped into being. It is so much fun to play, it became the foundation of Island Spring while we were improvising in the studio, and was later re-recorded under its own name after it solidified with more busking and performing in its namesake town. My everlasting gratitude to the musical genius of Ann and Shiho, who solidified Island Spring into a tune in its own right!

Harmonic Wind, 2004 – 2007

A wind blowing through a set of harp strings is its own magic. When Ann heard this December 2004 recording of just such a wind in the small harp, recorded in the doorway of a lovely Baja bed and breakfast we later shared in December 2005, she agreed that we just had to do something with it! So we did.

A note on the name Tethys:

We were casting about for names, one for our group, and one for this recording project you (hopefully!) now have in your hands. Without prior consultation, water was evident in many of our individual titles, and in the nature of the music itself. So while Ann and her husband Jesse were brainstorming words with a watery context and making a list of them, geologist that I am, I leapt upon Tethys as something we could play with, so to speak! In Greek mythology, the Titan Tethys was the daughter of Uranus and Gaia, and the sister and consort of Oceanus, the ancient Greek god of the ocean. In the geological theory of plate tectonics, the Tethys Ocean is a body of water associated with the “all land” mass of continents called Pangaea. About 200 million years ago, Pangaea began to break up to form the continents we now know and love.

katia said...

ahh good, i see you've already answered my question, 'what is Tethys?'
now my second query - what's the story behind the name 'shanli'?

oh wait... upon closer inspection i see it's the first 2 letters of each of your names. clever. ;)