The River Song

This composition involved watching a four minute video I recorded while travelling up the Amazon River. This visual of streaking light, rippling water, and verdant reflections inspired me to compose some simple piano pieces. “To play piano is to consort with nature. Every mollusk, galaxy, vapor, or viper, as well the sweet incense of love’s distraction, is within the hands and grasp of the pianist” (Sherman). I am not a musician, and so my intent was not to write a conventional song, but to create sounds inspired through the moving images of the Amazon River. I also asked my father to improvise with his flute, and my brother with his djembe, while watching the same video. The piano, flute and djembe were all recorded separately; my job was to be the architect and bring them harmoniously together.

While mixing these tracks into a single whole, I realized that the piano felt discordant and out of place, whereas the flute and djembe resonated with Colombia (the country I was visiting). In fact, indigenous Colombian peoples use primarily flutes and drums in their music and dance. With a humbled heart, I omitted all of my piano pieces from the final mix, many hours of work best left on the cutting room floor (or my computer’s recycle bin).

Enjoy this collaboration between the reflections of Colombia and musicians of Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *