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received from joe catalano on jan 29 1996 copyright 398w

(c)1991 Joe Catalano, Quiet Cat Music, BMI.

AS OCEANS CURVE Sounding the Deep Ocean Layer

There exists within the ocean, at its deepest layer, a body of water of immense density and extreme coldness. This is the deep ocean layer which moves along the ocean floor as a slow moving ocean current. The water within this slow moving current takes 1000 years to circulate from the waters of the North Polar ice cap to the Antarctic continent. The water which grew cold and sunk off the North Polar Seas in the year 1000 AD, five hundred years before North America was discovered by Europeans, is only now emerging off the coasts of Antarctica.

It is this layer of water which is thought to be used by certain species of whale as the conductive medium for their songs. It is believed that these whales are able to resonate this layer of dense water with their calls as a cello resonates the air around us. The physics of this dense strata of water are such that the sounds which vibrate this medium can be heard as much as 2,000 miles from their point of origin; these are the song-ways of the oceans.

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Directions for Performance: Fill a room with as many audio speakers as possible.

Connect these speakers to as many audio channels as possible. Generate and alter a drone continuously for the duration of the piece, which is eight hours in length, creating one unbroken arch of sound. Produce this continuous sonic environment using electronic sound generators, electronic processing, and electronic processing of both pitched and non-pitched acoustic instruments, and prerecorded tape all the while keeping in mind the idea of this deep ocean layer, this long rolling breath of the ocean.

If interested, allow other sound artists, poets, and performance artists to join you with their work in this sonic environment throughout the performance. The participating artists should enter into the sound space with the idea of having new work arise spontaneously from their interaction with the eight hour soundscape. The ongoing continuous sound should change in response to the artists performing in the space. As Oceans Curve is a collaborative and, among the participating artists, an interactive piece.

First performed at the A Gallery, San Francisco, CA January 12th, 1991, 4:00 PM to Midnight PST.


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