Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer 5: A Week in Review

It's been an oh-so-busy, yet-fun week! Just six days until Translations!
No time to make individual posts, here is the whole stretch of last week for you:

Monday, July 4
10:20am, ArtStreet, University of Dayton, OH
light rain

Today I heard some goldfinches doing their "huh?" call in the little green space behind my apartment. I ran back for my recorder, as I really wanted to get them down. (I'm forever having trouble distinguishing it from the very similar question-mark-call of the Eastern Wood-Peewee.)

However, in the few minutes it took me to get back down, the soundscape had changed dramatically. The rain was beginning to sprinkle, and the goldfinches were quiet. The only remaining singers were the usual house sparrows, and this lovely song sparrow:

Saturday, July 2
9:20am-9:40am, Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, OH
humid and very warm

It's a jogging-listening-meditation this morning, and I'm happy to hear this Wood Peewee. I've been trying to calculate how long the pauses between Peewee calls should be (about 10 seconds, it turns out), so this encounter helps.

Friday, July 1
Today was a composition day, after many days of running around. I needed to really nail down the music for the Prairie, and I got some good ideas started - though I also keep going in circles with exactly how to notate/instruct the musicians.

Yesterday's two field sparrows inspired me to make a kind of surround-sound tapestry of accelerating notes on multiple violins - the bow technique where it bounces rapidly at the end is known as "ricochet".

Here's a sample:

Thursday, June 30
8:15am-9:45am, Aullwood Audubon Center, Englewood, OH

It's Adult Nature Walk again, and today the crowd is larger than expected! I have to duck into the Center to make some extra copies of the fliers I brought for Translations.

By the time I get out, I've lost the walkers, and I end up wandering the Audubon grounds by myself. It's the first time I've properly explored on my own, so I don't mind so much.

I get to hear these two, very similar-sounding birds in a prairie - the first is definitely a field sparrow with its accelerating single pitch, but I'm not sure about the second one, whose pitch rises. I love the juxtaposition though!

Wednesday, June 29
3:30pm-5:15pm, Aullwood Garden, Englewood, OH
hot, sunny

I've come with UD music student Phil Titlebaum to check out the possibilities of drums, crotales, cymbals, wood-blocks, and bows in the woods.

I'm not going to give away too many secrets, but there was a new bird for the day (with some lingering percussion in the background):


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