counterpoint for atmosphere and didgeridoo
A Didgeridoo and The Beleboke

What is The Beleboke?

The last couple of days, I've started writing about the realization of a piece for electromagnetic signals from the earth's atmosphere, and didgeridoo. 

When I write, there's always a noisy, boisterous part of my mind that won't settle down.  Sometimes I think this is a distraction, and other times I think it is actually the source of any ideas I may end up with.  Like a greek Daemon - spirit ally, spirit of the place.  I do recognize it as part of my mind/psyche...but at the same time I also feel that this entity or voice fits in to a specific shape outside, in the aether.  The archetypal unconscious.

As I sit at my desk, best time to write for me is as early as possible in the morning.  That accompanying voice settles in to a fairy tale sing-song voice.  Not always comfortable, this.  Do you know the stories of the Dingle Dell?  It's a wooded area in the center of a village with a pathway often used as a shortcut.   Many the strange occurrences in that dell.  Misty trees and pixies, lumbering green men.  Simmering pots of meat for unsuspecting children. 

Harrison Birtwistle composed a piece called Down By The Greenwood Side which uses bits of British folk song and old mummers plays.  He also wrote an opera on Punch and Judy.  Punch throws his baby in the fire, attacks his wife Judy and eventually is sentenced to hang for his crimes.  Pantomime, commedia del'arte - dark and mysterious underneath the competing chants of "Oh yes we can/Oh no you can't".

Those are the sounds of my daemon, I guess.  It all can be occupied by the right song.   If I'm not actually writing - if the work at hand is more like editing, proof-reading or working in Sibelius to produce the score - I can listen to a song on repeat.  If there's a blank piece of paper in front of me, then I have to turn off the radio and listen to the other music instead.

I've been known to play one Yanni track for several hours. It's on the album "In My time" but I don't know the name of the song.  If I need it, I have to grope through each track, breath short, heart pounding until I hear the blessed release of those opening notes.    Eldar and Nigar (the 2011 Euovision song contest winners) sang a song that also fit in the required slot.  I can't recall the title of their song, and certainly can't remember any of the lyrics although I've probably heard it over a thousand times. 

I'm going to start calling the electromagnetic pieces "The Beleboke".  That word comes from our own family word games, and is a variation on the word telescope.  But the telescope is not a tool anymore, it's a receptacle or alchemical retort.  These pieces for atmospheric electromagnetism are a first step - I'm going to learn how to build backyard receivers for solar activity, Jupiter, galactic rises.  Apparently I can use an old FM radio to pick up meteorite activity.  All these layers of activity, filtered through a developing computer patch, in counterpoint to the didgeridoo.  That is The Beleboke.