February 28, 2019
Music of Today / DXARTS: Until Spring
Kin of The Moon: Heather Bentley - viola, Kaley Lane Eaton - soprano, Leanna Keith - flute
Electronic layer - project contributors:
Anna Niedźwiedź - soprano (lead, the voice of Inanna)
Joseph Anderson - concertina, recorders
Josiah Boothby - French horn
Ewa Trębacz - violin
Mirta Wymerszberg - bandoneon, flute
Three years in the making, Inanna Descending utilizes over a decade of my Ambisonic recordings in unusual acoustic spaces, which have been incorporated into the electronic layer. Among others, the spaces include the Ford Worden Cistern and WWI bunkers (with soprano Anna Niedźwiedź, hornist Josiah Boothby and myself as violinist), and St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle (with Mirta Wymerszberg - bandoneon and flute, Joseph Anderson - concertina and recorders, and myself - violin).
These recordings were later extensively processed, among others with the use of the Ambisonic Toolkit (ATK) software, and finally composed into a 3-dimensional soundscape.
The live performance creates a direct response to those pre-recorded and transformed soundscapes, while the entire physical and perceptual space of the concert hall, becomes the resonance box of an extended immersive instrument.
The title makes a reference to the ancient Sumerian poem, The Descent of Inanna (c. 1900-1600 BCE), describing the goddess Inanna’s journey into the underworld and her return to the world of the living. The poem begins with these famous words:
From the Great Above she opened her ear to the Great Below
From the Great Above the goddess opened her ear to the Great Below
From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below
Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth. (Harper & Row, New York, 1983)
The premiere of Inanna Descending on February 28, 2019 was supported by "Listen UP! Music by Women" 2018 Artist Award from the Allied Arts Foundation in Seattle.
Special thanks to:
Department of Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), University of Washington
Joseph Anderson for sharing his expertise of Ambisonic sound
Michael McCrea, for his technical support before and during the premiere
Mark Haslam, for his on-going support for my projects and his assistance in recording sessions