With permission, we've reposted this essay written by scholar and writer George Miler, inspired by Luna Firma's "Falling Towards Atlantis". Ambient Soundscapes are wonderful companions to the creative process. It's our pleasure to share you this listener experience.
The long swells coming in off the Cronian Sea – which is now called the Atlantic – crashes on the white sand with the same familiar carrump-whoosh that I have heard in other lives. It is a comforting sound. It says that after all, the doings of the little creatures that scuttle on her shores on sail on her side blue expanse are nothing much to her. But she means a lot to us. The pattern created on a sonic spectroscope can resemble human speech. Unmistakably vocal, the breakers speak, saying:
“Between Me And The Sea” (Track One) is a swishy, flowing sound, something large moving and then, from far away, but very clear, comes a call. This voice is deep and musical. It has a rising inflection which makes it sound like a question.
“Glass Bottom Boat” (Track Two) is Luna Firma’s reply. To speak, not just cry out, or bray, or howl, implies a mind at work. Of what does it speak? Looking at it this way, an intelligence might observe that all creatures live the same amount of subjective time in their natural lives. We must seem to race about like mad insects, buzzing down the summer of our days. Yet slow down the sound of crickets and you can hear a mighty chorus, a kind of singing or chant, although the singers keep sliding in and out of phase with one another. If you speed whale song fifteens times, it sounds like birdsong. And if you slow down birdsong, it sounds like whales.
Slow down human voices and you get Falling Towards Atlantis. The broad harmonic sections are the vowels, the xylophonic and pianistic intervals the consonants, harpistic elegance the emotions, slow enough for the sea to understand.
This also helps the voyager as he traverses the ocean, sensing a meaning in the motion and flux of the waves, like a Polynesian in the state of perception that permits him to see the coming of a pattern out of the chaos, and learning that an island lies near. Our navigator cannot understand and act on it yet. Only that something is there.
Light Source” of Track Three becomes brighter and clearer, a soft light through the sea-green, not yet driving the night away, nothing stable, nothing fixed. “As Of Yet Unknown” (Track Four). He can almost sense meaning in those tossing motions, never still, patterns for which he is still too fast, try as he might to slow down for them.
“Open Night Air” (Track Five) and there is indeed something there, beneath the interface between wind and water. The sea is a medium of sound. Of what do such sonorous, long voices speak? Of the flitting mayflies, alive for the day? He hears them – whales, conch horns blowing…
“Approaching Atlantis” (Track Six) is the final track, in the long form and marvelous. He is trying it seems, at the opening, but now all he can do is question, for one part of him is sinking, and another is rising from the depth, something he wants to do, something he has to be, something strange and wonderful, something desirable to be.
Now he sees truth. Now he hears the ancient seabells, the old bones scattering in the currents. Kings and emperors, conquerors and concubines: shadows that flicker for an instant and are gone. Tales as old as the race itself – or older – rooted in the chaos that is the mother of creation. Time returns to show an image in the confines of a mirror…
Feb. 12, 2016