In Arcady (2015)

arcady

In August 2015, I composed four soundtracks to accompany F.C. Heathorn‘s solo exhibition of oil paintings (Yallops Gallery, Norwich) were composed with sound recordings made in rural Norfolk.

Greylags is a sonic confluence of geese from Whitlingham Broad.

Water Motion reinterprets the ‘Prelude’ to Wagner’s Das Rheingold – except the Rhine is a Norfolk Broad and the famous E-flat major chord is the sound of a pleasure cruiser.

Stridulation works the sound of a cricket and imagines the insect brushing its corrugated body like a harp.

Finally, Et in Cinerem Reverteris is a memento mori that invokes a tradition of writings that began with Virgil’s Eclogues on the presence of death in the context of natural beauty. The soundtrack carries us across the River Styx (the ford crossing at Glandford, for which you need a Land Rover) to the sound of a tolling bell (a slowed-down version of the carillon of nearby St Martin’s Church). On the other side, we meet Death, the infamous ‘I’ of the inscription on the tomb in Poussin’s painting of 1637: I too am in Arcadia.

© Nicholas Brown, August, 2015

Here is one of the tracks, Et in Cinerem Reverteris. More to follow.