The piece is a collaboration between myself, flutist Leanna Keith, and hornist Josiah Boothby. It has two components; the fixed-media soundscape and a live performance which creates a response to that soundscape.
The electronic layer of the piece is a sonic journey through the unique acoustic properties of abandoned historic spaces in Washington State. Following in the footsteps of Stuart Dempster and Paul Kikuchi, we are hoping to continue and extend the work of previous generations of WA artists by capturing some of the most unique acoustic spaces in Washington State and presenting them to larger audiences.
We made Ambisonic recordings in the cooling towers and nuclear reactor building of the Satsop Abandoned Nuclear Plant and in the WWI era bunkers at the Fort Worden State Park. The musicians were directed to explore the acoustic potential of those spaces through movement and interactions with the space and each other. The recordings are later processed and composed into a spatial soundscape, which then becomes the canvas for the live performance.
During the performance, the listener will be transported to those spaces and given a glimpse of their past - but also connected to “here and now”. The soundscape will be played back in full surround, and the live performance with create a direct dialogue with it. Sonic spaces will overlap and compete for the listener’s attention. The entire physical space of the theater will turn into a resonance box of an extended instrument.
The work is a reflection on time passing. It explores what these spaces were originally intended to be and their ghostly present, becoming part of the Washington landscape (literally and metaphorically) through multiple art projects these spaces have inspired.