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’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-prop 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.
To evoke the incredibly varied and fantastical creatures of the sea, Ocean Calling II: From the Depths 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.
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 II.
See a film with dancers choreographed to Ocean Calling II titled the Mermaids’ Song 2047 here: https://vimeo.com/184023453. Joel Vannfuller- Creative Director, Amber Adams- Artistic Director, Nick Westfall- Videographer.
Listen and View the Score