Ocean Calling II: From the Depths is the second in a series of compositions for two pianos, dedicated to the ocean. Called our “life-support” system, the ocean covers 72% of the planet surface and provides half the oxygen we breathe and many other resources, while regulating our climate with currents traversing thousands of miles. Yet I fear we take for granted the ocean’s gifts, unaware that our survival is linked to the ocean’s health. As I learn of vast contaminations, over-fishing, acidification, death of coral reefs, rising temperatures, and more, I am drawn to help us re-connect with this vital life source and its vast, mysterious realms.
To evoke the incredibly varied and fantastical creatures of the sea, Ocean Calling II uses one piano for “inside the piano” techniques, including stopped notes, harmonic glissandi, plucking or strumming strings, and striking the strings with a glass. The other piano complements these colors with hints of fragility and lilting flow, contrasted with urgent dramatic movement and nostalgic reflections on what may be or already has been lost.
The title, From the Depths, alludes not only to the depths of the sea, but also to the deep place inside us which hears the call of a life-sustaining universe as our own.
The film of the ocean featured on this page was created by Chana Levine for the Ocean Calling series. It may be shown prior to a performance of Ocean Calling II. Copyright ©Chana Levine 2013.