Out of a dark sea
Once, in early January, I decided I needed to escape from the city for a while so I went out to the easternmost point of Long Island. I ended up on an abandoned stretch of beach, and by this time it had already grown dark, but I nevertheless decided to go for a walk. Since there wasn't any light on the beach my eyes quickly picked up on something interesting. With each wave came little grains of sand that shined an intense blue light for a short time and then would die out (I’ve since learned that this might have something to do with dried-up jellyfish). The raw visual beauty of this image – of a vast and utterly dark sea endlessly dissolving into scattered points of light – was striking and seemed to suggest an interesting musical metaphor. In Out of a Dark Sea a variety of wave-like and pointillistic structures interact in antithesis and synthesis with each other as do dark and bright instrumental and electronic timbres. The piece also explores this metaphor through what Schopenhauer might call a principle of individuation by means of a process of musical rarefaction spanning the spectrum noise-timbre-pitch-motive-theme.