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drawing fire from the well

for flute and taonga puoro

  ·  Duration:  8m

Duration:  8m

Composer:   Rosie Langabeer

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Audio

Sample: 0’00” – 1’00”
from Bridget Douglas & Al Fraser | Silver Stone Wood Bone

See details ➔


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Fire is the will. The well is the self.

From one note comes two. From two notes come many. Complex sounds from simple structures. Natural sounds of breath, bone, and wood. It's partly psychological, but it's mainly about the forces of nature. Personal and impersonal. Simultaneously enchanting and unsettling.

It's a warning. Fire is an alarm. When I wrote the piece, I thought a lot about the sound of the alarm. The sleeping dragon. The sleeping giant. Massive forces. The guardian - still alive, not dead, only sleeping. What happens if it wakes up? What happens when we summon it? What happens when the guardian gets loose?

It's also about love, because we have to protect what we love, and use the fire guided by love to warm and protect rather than destroy. It's important to understand the different aspects of fire, to learn it, to revere it. The fire needs air; it needs to breathe. You can hear the breathing in the piece, the sound of air, but it's not primarily about breathing.

It's about the fire in the well. There's timelessness at the bottom of the well, where you can engage with past and future things. In the day-to-day, our relationships and jobs are governed by the forces at play in our lives. At the bottom of the well there is none of that—just deep space. Down there, we can learn what these forces are, listen to what they have to say and remember what was said or done, or what we saw that made us feel that way.

Scraping sounds and tapping sounds punctuate the air. A note revealing other notes, multi-phonics, the hidden sounds of the sound. A world within a world. Layers of physical energy, alive and ancient. The potential for these sounds is always there, it just takes a certain way of doing things.

— Rosie Langabeer —