165: How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life.

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A field recording of Lake Michigan, interweaving chromatic scales, and arpeggios, episode 165 of the podcast features a new composition for a small ensemble (or rather a computer pretending to be a small ensemble).

The piece was partly inspired by several bike rides I took this weekend, from Evanston to a nature preserve near South Shore Cultural Center(Chicago). The weather was near perfect for bike riding, 70 degrees, with a slight wind. But the waves were rough, tossing and turning from every direction.

The piece takes its first note, middle C, from the book I finished this weekend, Orfeo, by Richard Powers. The title also appears in the novel, as the lyrics for an experimental piece Peter Els, the composer/DIY microbiologist in the novel, sees at a coffee house. He identifies it as Reich. Wittgenstein. Proverb. To paraphrase Els from later in the novel, I will never have anything to break; everything is already broken and glued back together in a mosaic of pretty bits…

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