to the Sound Section:
touch, sound is perhaps the most primal of all modalities. When
we were still nascent beings, completely sightless in our mothers
womb, the sound of her heartbeat comforted and sustained us: the
emotional reassurance of its regularity and stability contributed
as much to our well-being as the physical nurturance of her blood
pumping into ours.
in the beginning
mythology tells us that all creation
comes from the sounding of the word, as each part of the miracle
was called forth into being. And our whole world of speech and language
was developed out of our listening and responding to the sounds
of the natural world, an idea David Abram has explored beautifully
in The Spell of the Sensuous.
power and influence of sound is deep and fathomless. From the seed
syllables of Sanskrit, which are believed to open the psyche to
awakened states of consciousness, to the rock concerts of the 60s,
and movie scores of today, there is no art form more soothing, more
stirring, more evocative and compelling than music.
artist Christopher Castle, interviewed in the Image
section of this issue, is also a musician composing his work
using patterns found in the natural world. Part 2 of my 1999 interview
with him is included here, focusing on the experiences and ideas
behind his unusually stirring sound creations. He provides the scores
for his Anima Mundi collaborations with wife Kathyrn Roszak, one
of which was reviewed in the Movement
included a brief conversation between ICE members Betsy Barnum and
Robert Greenway, on an orchestra of crickets that inspired Betsy
one day. I include it because it is one of the loveliest conversations
I can remember hearing.
saving a special treat for last, David Rothenberg and Marta Ulvaeus
have gathered a rich and rewarding collection of essays and writings
on music The Book of Music and Nature, reviewed by saxophonist
Barbara Speed. Rothenberg and Ulvaeus reach back for musical inspiration
and collaboration with nature from Rilke and Hazrat Inayat Khan,
up through Brian Enos recent work with ambient sound. This
impressive volume comes complete with illustrations and an incredible
CD of recorded sound.