Ocean Calling I: Waves and Currents is the first in a series of compositions for two pianos dedicated to the ocean. Called our “life-support” system, the ocean covers 72% of the planet’s surface and provides half the oxygen we breathe and many other resources, while regulating our climate with currents traversing thousands of miles. As I learn of large-scale contaminations, over-fishing, acidification, death of coral reefs and rising temperatures linked to the urgent Climate Crisis, I fear we take the ocean’s gifts for granted, unaware that our survival is linked to the ocean’s health. I hope the Ocean Calling series will help us to renew our connection with this vital life source and its vast, mysterious realms, and that we will hear the call from the sea that we are part of one indivisible whole.
Ocean Calling I: Waves and Currents revels in the joy of swimming at the seashore. A child of the seashore, my earliest memories relate to the flow of tides and surf at the beach in North Carolina: diving into breakers, floating on the surface and jumping with crests and dips, ever watchful for the next wave about to roll and crash. Metric shifts, contrasting textures, and glissandi, both on keys and on strings inside the piano, help convey the swirling energy of waves, currents, wind, and spray. A metal chain rustles on vibrating strings to mimic the white noise of the breakers, while attentive use of the damper pedal suggests liquid, underwater resonance, contrasted with bright, dry sounds above the surface.
A silent version of the film by Chana Levine featured on this page is available to be shown prior to a performance of Ocean Calling I.
Listen and View the Score