Water Flow | 水利万物而不争
Field Recording Sample based Fixed Media with 8-channel sound difussion
Visual and Staging designed by Bolin Zhang, percussion solo by Christopher Clarino
Premiered at Experimental Theatre, UC San Diego Conrad Prebys Music Center.
Apr. 13th, 2018
I began working on Water Flow two years ago by starting a collection of field recordings focussing on the sounds of water. These sounds were recorded in a variety of locations, including Qinghai lake in China, a tiny stream in the Summer Palace, Beijing, a rivulet at the Palace of Fontainebleau in France, the river running through the Bern in Switzerland, the lake in Interlaken, a small town located in the foot of Jungfrau in Switzerland, the wave sound in Marseilles, a lake located in the foot of the Matterhorn in Switzerland, a waterfall in Yosemite National Park, the beach in the Southern California, tides of the Montreal beach in northern California and many others.
In collecting the water sounds into a unified work, I thought often about the mysterious qualities of both water and artistic creation. I aimed to create a space where the sounds could speak for themselves, and where individual details are less important than the fluid nature of the whole.
The percussionist is given a graphic score made up of my watercolor paintings, which they are free to interpret as they wish. This gives each performer an opportunity to respond to the sounds in their own voice, and have a personal dialogue with the nature of water, sonically or otherwise. Similarly, the staging for the work was designed by my close friend in Beijing, Bolin Zhang, a landscape designer. In our collaborations we discussed mostly the nature of water, focussing on the music itself much less.