Ocean Calling I: Waves and Currents is the first in a series of three compositions for two pianos, dedicated to the ocean. Covering 72% of the planet surface and providing half the oxygen we breathe, while regulating our climate with currents traversing thousands of miles, the ocean has been called our life-support system. As I learn of vast contaminations, over-fishing, acidification from global warming, death of coral reefs, and more, I fear we take for granted the ocean’s gifts, 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.
Waves and Currents revels in the joy of swimming at the seashore. A child of the sea, 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.
The film featured on this page was created by Chana Levine, ©Chana Levine 2013, and may be show prior to a performance of Ocean Calling I.