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Sonic Landscapes

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For this week's episode, we'll be examining the notion that one can “feel” a natural or architectural space, and “see” the shadows and changing lights while listening to a piece of music.

We naturally relate to most art forms through recognizing connections to elements of our surroundings -- we don’t need to see every single leaf of a tree to recognize one in a Van Gogh painting, for example. The colors alone do the trick. In music, however, we’re pretty much on our own. Its most fundamental element, tone, doesn’t represent or correspond to anything else but itself, so we are free to form our own connections to the music.

Yet, there are some characteristics of music, such as openly spaced sonorities or rhythmic aggregations, that conjure a subtle but powerful metaphor for the outer world, and engulf us in a sonic and visual experience. This Sunday at 2 pm, we’ll be listening to such pieces, including Caleb Burhans's Contritus, Music from the Shadowbang by Evan Ziporyn, as well as works by Karsh Kale, Missy Mazzoli and Conrad Winslow.