In advance of our residency at the Big Shed on Tombreck Farm Judith has written to us about the sketches she has created.
One of the ideas behind this programme is that 'nocturnal creatures generally have highly developed senses of hearing...and eyesight'. The music I have written so far is a set of 12 short studies each exploring an aspect of how humans (particularly myself and my listeners) experience sound when it's night time. All the music is very quiet; there's the idea that just as we strain to see things in the dark, our hearing 'expands' at night time, and we perhaps are able to hear quieter sounds compared with daytime, when the level of ambient noise is mostly much greater.
A list of the titles of the studies will give some idea of the themes, but please note that this is preliminary material for us to explore in the workshop days, and it's very likely that some of these pieces will be rewritten/combined /not make the final cut!
1.Pinpoints of Light - (this one unusually is about light/darkness - a phenomenon caused by the retina when it's dark)
2.Blood Velocity - occasionally when it's dark/quiet, you can hear your pulse/blood flow
3.Night Insect and 4.The First Bird; nature studies
5.Night Anxiety and 6. The Thin Time; the psychological experience of the darkest time of the night
7.Simmerdim – all night twilight at midsummer
8.Brahma muhurta – “the hour of the gods” – the hour before the sun appears, traditionally when we’re most likely to be taken ill or die
9.Who or what is tapping? about ghostly little sounds at night
10.Still breathing, about listening to someone asleep in a dark room
11.Night-time Radio – the sound of music being played half-inaudibly at a distance
12.A Distant Rumble – about ambient noise in the quietest part of the night