Lithic Fragments

Be the first to favourite this. Powell Butte, OR, USA

Walking piece details

Duration45 minutes
CostFree

Lithic Fragments is a composed score for field recordings, piano, cello, contrabass, and percussion to be experienced at Powell Butte Nature Park in East Portland. The field recordings were made at Powell Butte during 2021. You can hear the special ecology and environment in each field recording. These sounds are in conversation with scored instrumental elements.

The grasses and human interaction you hear in the opening is at emergency post 13. This recording was made at about 7:45pm on a warm summer evening. At 8 minutes you begin to hear early morning birds where South Trail meets the edge of the forest near the Spring Water Corridor. For that field recording I laid down in the grass to make my presence less known to the airborne creatures. As you can hear they are crossing from tree to tree, hiding in bushes, calling out to each other.

At about 20 minutes you hear a quiet midday bug song and a walker slowly pass by. Just after the recording, a rare summer precipitation closed in to silence the bug song. Later, very faintly under the music you can hear a field recording of wind moving through the forest close to emergency post 25. Incidentally, I found this spot to be the quietest location in the park—due to the geographic location most or all of the distant road noise is shielded and there is very little fauna roaming the forest, except one brave squirrel who hid as I arrived.

Machine sounds of water pumps, whirling relays, and small motors emerge around 28 minutes. This field recording is maybe the most active and harmonically complex. I met with the maintenance crew from the Portland Water Bureau who shared the underground site where water is pushed, pulled, and pumped from the Bull Run Watershed all the way to these vast underground tanks at Powell Butte. The field recording is backed by a phasing rhythmic pulse on two cymbals. See if you can hear the water? In the closing minutes you hear ice falling from trees.

Third Angle New Music

Third Angle New Music

United States

The music of our time creates a soundtrack to contemporary life, existing at the intersection of musical forms from jazz and classical to rock and electronica. For more than 30 years, Third Angle New Music has played outside the lines of the expected with ...

Branic Howard

Branic Howard

Branic Howard is a composer/performer engaged with sound and how place is defined by its relationship with the sonic surrounding. Whether writing for acoustic ensembles, electronic media, or dealing with recorded sound his focus is on the specific aural si...

Near Powell Butte, OR, USA

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