Music is like water: it can be calm and serene, or choppy and chaotic. It can lift you, carry you, or bury you—it can immerse you in its waves.
On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion, we’re scuba diving for new sounds. We’ll get lost in the waves, with music ranging from rippling rivers to epic storms and tender whale songs. Plus, a sound ecologist takes us to the beach to listen to the barnacles.
From ocean to desert, forest to tundra, composers have always found music in nature. The rhythm of waves, the rustling of leaves, the song of the mountain—or the colors of the wind.
On this Saturday’s episode of Second Inversion: Music of Mother Nature. From the pulse of the Amazon River to the lava fields of Iceland, a duet with the desert—and even some music made from living plants. Plus, field recordings from the Pacific Crest Trail!
Skittering wood blocks, ceramic tiles, finger cymbals, and bowls of water are just a few of the unusual instruments employed in Third Coast Percussion’s new film score for Paddle to the Sea. We’re thrilled to premiere a video of the group performing Act I of their original score, which was co-commissioned by Meany Center for the Performing Arts and performed there earlier this year.
The Oscar-nominated film Paddle to the Sea is based on Holling C. Holling’s 1941 children’s book of the same name, which follows the epic journey of a small wooden boat that is carved and launched by a young Native Canadian boy.
“I am Paddle to the Sea” he inscribes on the bottom of the boat. “Please put me back in the water.”
Over the course of the film, the boat travels for many years from Northern Ontario through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway out to the Atlantic Ocean and far beyond—and each time it washes ashore, a kind stranger places it back in the water.
Third Coast’s new film score (recently released as an albumon Cedille Records) is inspired by and interspersed with music by Philip Glass and Jacob Druckman, along with traditional music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. All of the music in the score is inspired by water, with Third Coast performing an entire ocean of sounds ranging from pitched desk bells to wine glasses, water bottles, sandpaper, and one particularly special instrument: the mbira.
The mbira is a thumb piano that plays a leading role in the Shona music from Zimbabwe. In fact, one of the pieces on the album, Chigwaya, is a traditional song used to call water spirits in the Shona religion—a song which was taught to Third Coast by their mentor Musekiwa Chingodza. By incorporating elements of their Western classical training with their study of the traditional music of the Shona people, Third Coast weaves together their own epic musical journey.
And in the spirit of Holling’s original story, the music itself becomes the small wooden boat: rather than keep it for themselves, the musicians add what they can and send the story out into the world again for others to discover.
Third Coast Percussion’s Paddle to the Sea is now available on Cedille Records.Click hereto purchase the album.