Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 33: Take-Off Zone

Scarborough Hill and Pond, Franklin Park, 7:15am-8:15am
chilly, light winds, mostly overcast

A heavy pewter lid covered most of the sky this morning, leaving just a peep of horizon.

Clouds created new topographies: a dark, distant cloud-mountain range lay behind drifting, fragile white clouds. It reminded me of Tiger Leaping Gorge in China.

The sunrise was spectacularly finite: a gorgeous build-up to a blazing appearance, the trees behind me bathed in gentle dawn light for a few precious minutes. Then the sun disappeared beneath the pewter lid, and all was grey again.

I went into a little mind-warp thinking about how the earth had made half a rotation since I saw the sun set last night, and how at every moment any given spot on the earth is moving to a different point in three-dimensional universe-space.

Specifically, I was imagining the exact spot where I stood, Scarborough Hill, and how it would pass through so many different points in space in the next 24 hours, before coming back to approximately the same point. I like envisioning how in this process it would come to occupy the same points in space as all the Earth-spots on the same rotational pathway, including those on the opposite side of the globe (like China!).

Made me want to understand the Earth's rotation and angles of rotation better, and it simplistically also made me feel closer to my parents, who are in Taiwan (even if they are on a totally different latitude)!

Food for further research. **UPDATE 11/3: I forgot to take into account the galaxies are moving too. Whoops! **

Today was take-off observation day. Within ten minutes of sunrise, the geese were gearing up and taking off in flocks of 4-20. Here was my the initial audio clue, when I was still coming down the hill:

When I reached the pond, I found the perfect spot on the shore to squat and watch the geese as they paddled towards the western end of the pond and took off.

It's a beautiful and thrilling scene, the sudden crescendo in honking, flap-flap and a couple of foot pushes, then the whole group airborne in seconds: all reflected against a dark pond surface.

I sat for quite a while trying to discern the communication system - how did they decide when to take off? Which geese were with which groups? Did different honks have specific meaning or did it only matter Who was honking?

Here, I watched a large group float down to "take-off zone" and chill before being triggered by another group to fly:

At home I sketch a dance piece for dancers who can sing. I want 20 of them, on a darkly reflective surface. Dancers will be divided into groups with one lead dancer per group.

There will be four vocal "calls" (which I would compose) for lead dancers, each call indicating a movement instruction (Follow Me; Chill Here; Get Ready; Fly!). Group dancers would have response calls, probably just two ("OK" and "Are you sure?").

The whole piece would unfold over 20 minutes, with different combinations and re-combinations of dancers "taking off" from the reflective surface.

Time to start recruiting!


At November 22, 2010 at 11:34 AM , Blogger Veronica B. said...

I like your idea for a dance piece! Also, have been enjoying catching up with your blog.



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