Ocean Calling III: The Giant Blue is the third 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.
In Ocean Calling III: The Giant Blue, I hope to convey the expanse of the sea, its call and echo, ancient reverberations from the medium where life began. The title also refers to the Giant Blue Whale, believed to be earth’s largest creature. Blue Whales are known to make two types of calls: the “a” call, a regular pulsing, about 92 beat per minute; and the “b” call, a low moan, dropping in frequency at the end.* The music’s pulsating chords with sustained bowed tones recall these whale sounds and their resonance through miles of ocean.
If we listen deeply, can we comprehend the whale’s call and the call of other singing sea creatures? What do they tell us, as their numbers decrease and their habitats transform? How do we respond?
See a BBC video of the Giant Blue Whale here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fzT6ifrhL8
Composed for a consortium of the following two-piano teams:
- Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers (Lomazov/Rackers Duo, University of South Carolina)
- Laura Melton and Robert Saterlee (Bowling Green State University)
- Alys Terrien-Queen and Cristina Capparelli Gerling (Wendell, Massachusetts and Porto Alegre, Brazil)
- Elizabeth Loparits and Norman Bemelmans (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Excerpt begins at measure 9.
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