Work » Projects » On the Analogical Understandings of Space 2016

I’ve often delighted in the manner in which the cave guides frame and animate underground formations with light and evocative names. Lighted one direction, a formation may be a butterfly, the other direction, a brontosaurus. On the Analogical Understandings of Space takes on a similar task by interacting with the resonances within Wind Cave, first with small spaces such as the minute chambers within the box work formations and then its larger more cavernous rooms. Working this way, the cave becomes a synthesizer, generating tones through the amplification of its variously sized chambers.

The acoustic response of these structures were no less exciting than the play of light – a microphone moves one way, and the sound of a clarinet pipes up, moved another way, a howling wolf arises. on the analogical interpretations of space draws from these resonances, as well as the various ambient noises from entering this acoustically unique environment.

On the Analogical Understandings of Space was commissioned by the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, directed by the Bill Ryan, in celebration of the centennial of the National Parks. Many thanks to Néstor Prieto, whose assistance in recording was invaluable. Many thanks as well to the Chief of Interpretation at Wind Cave Tom Farrell as well as Ranger Blase LaSala for their generous support of this project and assistance in recording and navigating the acoustic peculiarities of Wind Cave. Enormous thanks are also owed to Bill Ryan both for his support of new music and this exciting way of engaging with the National Parks.

On the Analogical Interpretations of Space was released on the album Dawn Chorus with Innova Recordings.


GVSU New Music Ensemble · Bill Ryan, Director
Nestor Prieto · Recording Assistance