Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 21: Sonic Frames

Franklin Park, JP/Dorchester, MA, 6:45am-8am
light frost, misty, few clouds

Mist nestled in the green hollows of the golf course this morning, transforming an urban park into an imagined Celtic countryside. I kept thinking "Anne of Avonlea" : maybe the book cover had such an image..

It was an almost cloudless sunrise: beautiful, but stark. I missed the magic and dynamism of clouds.

As I started down my hill (staying on paved paths to make amends for Tuesday's romp) I kept turning to see how the sun was doing. It was actually much more striking now from between the trees, or framed by the battered green-gold leaves of sick tree.

I started to think about "frames" and wondering about the difference between frame as boundary, and frame as content. In a way, the leaf-edged perspective of the sun was only interesting because of the leaves (frame as content). But if the sun was the main subject, one could argue that the leaves were simply an interesting line that gave more meaningful context to the sun (frame as external boundary).

I'm getting all analytical about this because I think the idea of frame applies a lot to my own projects, where I'm trying to put classical and improvised music into new contexts, framing the abstract musical experience with storytelling, narrative, movement, etc.

It is also interesting to ponder purely musical, sonic "frames" - can such a thing exist? I suppose the idea of "background" or a drone is kind of a frame, but I am curious if something even more like an external boundary can be created and perceived. (I sketched out a few ideas at home later.)

Anyway, back at Franklin Park, I'm feeling open-minded about bird sounds after yesterday's realization that I need to learn a lot more to mimic a bird chorus- not just the melodic and complex ones! Peeps, cheeps, squawks - I need to learn them all!

Today's bird eeeked at me from pretty close-range, which is usually a decisive factor for selection. It had a very perky tail (making a V with the body) -- I'm afraid that's the only clue I've got.

A jay was screeching close by, and I enjoyed this "accidental" (incidental) duet. It's fun to imagine they are talking to each other, but the reality is they were in their own worlds and the sounds happened to overlap.


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