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Ground of Being

for two channel tape

Year:  2000

Year:  2000

Composer:   Annea Lockwood


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Successive waves of sound pour out from a core sound. I hear them as manifestations of being, enticingly alive. Like the boat basin recording in Buoyant, many of these ambient sounds were recorded while I was at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center on Lake Como, in 1999. A central voice is that of the scholar, Ousmane Kane (Senegal), recounting the tragic history of African migrants stowing away, sometimes dying, in the holds of aircraft on flights to Europe, his rich baritone voice triggering the resonant frequency of a crypt at the Villa Serbelloni, not to mention a nearby dog. Biophysicist, Dr Mel Tyree, generously contributed recordings of dehydrated trees, their water columns collapsing as they dry, emitting ultrasonic clicks (here shifted down into the human hearing range and arranged in series).

My weeks at the Bellagio centre were filled with daily expeditions through the town and the country around the lake, sound-hunting. In New York Engine 27 and the Electronic Music Foundation gave me the opportunity to realise the work as an eight channel installation in 2000 and I am deeply grateful to all three organisations.

Performance history