Solo Piano arrangement of a string quartet commissioned by ETHEL, with support from ETHEL’s Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
As I perused the Documerica Project (1971-1977), where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to photograph different aspects of American life, I was struck by the images that had water as a central imagery either as the main subject of the shot or peripherally associated.
I thought about how a simple photograph can tell so much a bout a time and a place.
I realized that many of the significant turns of events in my life (good or bad) also had a connection to water: swimming the beach at Coney Island in the late50’s, living along the Atlantic Ocean in St Johns Newfoundland, fishing in Biloxi Mississippi, surfing in Hawaii and performing for my fellow soldiers at Cam Ran Bay hospital in Vietnam along the South China Sea.
For Into the liquid as with most of my compositions, I want the listener to connect to the music as if viewing a series of photographs depicting aspect of my life experiences.
The work opens with an introductory motif metaphorically suggesting a liquid that runs through the memories of my life. In Chapters I and 2, this motif is presented in different harmonic and rhythmic variations reflecting the emotional rollercoaster of thinking back to specific events in my life and the impact these events had on who I am today. The last Chapter is an artistic reflection of my life as I view it through a prism of military service
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Leon Bates - Shepherd University (March 2018)
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