This project started in composer's lab at the University of Washington music school a long time ago, 1971, to be exact. The idea was to create environmental art. What better way to do this than to have all of the Puget Sound ferries in a line, standing at attention while Seattle's mayor conducted them with all of the fury and high drama using the hose of the fireboat. Truly, an awesome sight!
One problem, the composer was never going to become famous or important enough to command all ferries of the Sound to be in one place, all at the same time. Back burner, as time made it's way through years of unfilled hopes of completion of said musical composition. Ah, the 80s with their great hope and promise, a return to the project, this time recording the mighty sounds from the engine rooms, pure unbridled rhythm within the grasp of the composer's ambition to turn these energies into sequential thought through music. Oh no, the new world of sound design came to a crushing halt as babies were being born and needed nourishment and a father. More back burner and time marched forward.
Island life, Orcas, trails, seas, mountains and lakes to swim in with no alligators and a new millennial. Ah, a famous song describing this experience, "Throw away your TV, Get to know Jesus, in your own way!" Get spiritual, no distractions. As life would have it, the nagging of an unfulfilled dream raised it's serpent like head and here we go again, this time, much more in line with reality and what was possible to do and to create having had a rearview mirror of what was and what is not.
Cap'n, Thar Be Whales: To quote Scotty from the 2nd Startrek movie, this is an experience of sailing from Anacortes to Orcas. Suddenly, the ship stopped. What could be the matter? Are we dead in the water? Are there enemy submarines lurking deeply? NO!!! "Thar be whales, starboard!" exclaimed the Captain. And what a sight, a whole pod.
Goin' Home: This is that feeling. Haven't been home for awhile. Such an enjoyment of time, going home. Going back to what you are with a question mark. What is there?
Catchin' The Red Eye: Ferry, that is. Early morning, must have more sleep but duty calls with obligations to the mainland, America, everything that is not this beautiful island. But, much humor and gnashing of teeth at the same time. All of the truck drivers, tucked into their small berths, getting paid while sleeping. Must be a good life!
Samba On Deck: This is what I live for since I was three years old. Catching a ferry run that does not exist anymore, the old Columbia River run, before the bridge. I would listen to the rhythm of the propeller shaft and hear all of the incredible, consistent 8th note syncopated rhythms that would emanate from said shaft and would feel a dance-like nature within my being at three. At many more years, I still feel it, syncopated samba rhythms that indicate a southern rhythm that has only goodness and free spirit in mind. I am thankful for this.
Water, Like Glass: This is that perfectly smooth voyage that gives you that glistening stillness of mind, a joy of calm.
Full Steam: Love talking about these old-timers, the true sense of what a foot passenger ferry does, take mankind to their destinations with all of their stuff. One could go from Olympia to Bellingham in those days. What a remarkable ride!
Waltz for Chief Sealth: We honor the man mostly, as well as the boat named after him. Truly wise and evolved, a great and good man and remember him saying, "So go the salmon, so go man."
Sweet Journey: Nothing much to say here. Just a great feeling and good voyage.
Safe Passage: How do these ferry boats do it in the winter? Wild, adventuresome times, white mostly on the seas. The ferry captain always knew how to keep a safe passage by navigating through the islands using protected waterways to help us achieve our destination. Not easy!
Danse pour deus Bourdons de Brume: You have probably figured it out by now. This is a musical tale of two foghorns destined for a dance, sometimes intimately.