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1. Three Graces

“The last shall be first . . .”

Three Graces, the first track on cello graces, was the last piece I wrote. Its melodic lines, I think, make a good introduction to what is to follow throughout the album, and the title chose itself.

2. Dance of the Dark Moons

A mood piece. Something to sink deep into the beginning of a massage with . . .

Circling
ever so quietly, and
ever so slowly
– there is no one to hear
no reasons for hurry –
in the shadow spaces,
only spectral silhouettes
to be seen.

Rotating
locked in the silent embrace
of a dark gravity
weaving the fabric of their crossings
the bodies seek always
the Shadow of the mother.

Beyond questing
beyond reason
beyond reach of any eye
beyond any senses
the Dance of the Solitaries
plays on

Who is there, then,
to take any meaning from
their emergence
into the Light?

3. In the Evening Night

This is the only piece on the album that began its life as an actual song. I wrote it in 2001, inspired by the power nature can evoke in utter stillness.

In the evening night
a silent whippoorwill
raises its head
and turns its eye on me
once
twice
and disappears.

In the evening night
breezes fill the spaces
through the aspen trees
spin themselves around
waiting for the
quiet
of the night.

In the evening night
In the evening night
In the evening night

In the evening night
rainclouds rush
on high winds
‘cross the dark’ning sun
silver-rimmed
glories strewn,
in grey-shrouded stillness.

And in the evening night,
the undertow of night,
In this evening night
the silent whippoorwill,
lifted up on wing,
once             twice
and disappears.

In the evening night
In the evening night
In the evening night
In the evening night  . . .

4. Silk

Silk started out on my cello. I just liked the G-major arpeggio, and played with that, seeing where it wanted to go. Steve brought in his 6-string Larrabee acoustic, and we soon had the chords and structure. This one was one of the first that I experimented with laying down more than one cello track. I liked the effect of two cellists playing in unison, then diverging and trading off the harmony line.

It went a long time without a title. Finally, I asked Audy if she had a suggestion: she did, and Silk had its name.

5. Sea Streams

Sea Streams is another of the first compositions in which I used multiple cello tracks. I wanted to lay down a dense weave of sounds playing off each other, so I back the cellos with several different voices from my Yamaha YPG-635 keyboard/synthesizer. This sample starts with a section where I’ve changed the time signature to 6/8 and riff with that a bit before beginning a new melodic line with the cellos, and return to the initial 4/4 time.

6. Two Journey Bridge

A meditation on two different journeys, only briefly joined by this bridge . . . on each side familiar echoes of a longing for reconnection, and a need of separation.

7. On the Singing River

Flowing forth from the bridge, a solo cello gives voice to a river and its own journey . . .

8. Chocolate Dreams

Chocolate . . . “What – Me Worry?”

9. Rainforest

Eyes closed. Warm hands and massage oil on your back. Rain on the thatched roof above. A distant melody drifts through the sultry air, into your dreaming consciousness….

10. Snowfall

Snowfall had the earliest beginnings of all the compositions. I sat down at my keyboard, and the opening two chords came; the rising and falling notes of what would become the cello voices added themselves shortly thereafter. Steve helped me develop the spare chord structures, and I developed the melodic lines from those. On the day of the first recording session, a gentle snowfall had begun, the first of the year. And so it had its name….

11. Morning Bees

The ascending guitar chords that Steve came up with inspired me to follow with muted cello lines that rose and wound around and around each other, like a lazy swarm of bees. I imagined them emerging from the warmth of the hive, into the first light of sunrise, a chill dew on the ground….

12. Canon: Surtsey Rising

Canon: Surtsey Rising almost assembled itself from the pieces that I had recorded, and near the end of that process, the memory of the rising of Surtsey Island nearly fifty years ago from an undersea volcano came to me. I knew only then the name of what I had created.