It’s been a busy old day here at the hermitage station.
In 2017 MAZE gave a stunning interpretation of Jitterbug at the Tactile Paths Festival in Berlin, full of subtle detail and fluid energy. That they have returned to the work now – and have also created this beautiful realization of bayou-borne, for Pauline – is something for which I am deeply grateful.
Both works draw on improvisation and are guided by graphic imagery: of a river system in Texas and of rocks from the Continental Divide in Montana.
Bayou-born, for Pauline (2016) is dedicated to Pauline Oliveros and was composed with her passions in mind. She was born in Houston, Texas, so I created a graphic score from a map of the six bayous which flow through the city to Galveston Bay, thinking that she would have known one or all of those rivers intimately as a child – swimming, wading, river mud between her toes. She was a superb improviser, so it is scored for six improvising musicians with each player reading one of the rivers as a guide. Their lines move independently at first, coming closer together at the confluences to form duets and trios, before converging at the red star, the whole sound darkening as they approach Houston in memory of the devastation and deaths caused by Hurricane Harvey… in 2017.
The full liner notes on that site are fascinating, as is the music.