Beads of Time Sounding (2016)

for solo recorders and 2-channel audio
by Hildegard Westerkamp in collaboration with Terri Hron
Premiere: Sept 30, 2016, Vancouver Community College, Atrium, Vancouver.
Performed by Terri Hron

Length: 30:28

Terri’s visit to Hildegard’s former home village in North Germany happened in June of 2010 at a crucial time of transformation for both: Terri’s return to Canada after 10 years in Amsterdam and Hildegard’s goodbyes to her long-time family home. They simply set out to explore this intuitive time, roaming though places of childhood memories and landscapes of significance.

The recording process itself was an intense exploration of the relationship between soundscape and musical instrument. Recordings were made at dawn and various other times of day, in or at the edge of deciduous forests, in the village graveyard, and near a shipping canal meandering through agricultural landscapes. Bird song was everywhere. Terri improvised with musical sounds on her three recorders, a G Alto, Tenor and a C Bass. Hildegard improvised with her microphone: sometimes the microphone would be still, picking up the recorder sounds close up with the bird ambience in the background; sometimes birdsong would make up the foreground and the recorder playing would melt into the general ambience; sometimes the microphone would be moving intuitively between bird song and recorder.

The composition developed in the same spirit of exploration, improvisation and playfulness, searching in further depth for the relationship between soundscape and music, birdsong and recorder play, ambience and foreground solo, between electroacoustic soundtrack and live recorder performance.

In a deeper sense this composition is perceived as a meditation on soundscape and music in general but as represented specifically through the soundscapes and musical instrument sounds reminiscent of and harkening back to memories of home and childhood pasts.

Terri Hron
Hildegard Westerkamp
September 2016