winterlogue

 

 


WINTERLOGUE documents a series of winter walks through the mesas and canyons of northern New Mexico near the village of Abiquiu. These videos are little experiments,  an attempt to capture the many voices and moods of nature I encountered on my walks. This site is something of a sketchbook - an homage to the seasons and will eventually include the magic of Spring, Summer & Fall as well...

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email:  ajay [at] ajayrevels [dot] com
phone: 1+ 800-683-8541
 
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MESA WOODEN'S FAREWELL

STONEFOLKS' LAMENT

ICICLE MARCH

DREAMERS

Mesa covers clammering up to ridge tops and down to creek bottoms during snow storms, clear days and fierce winds.

Wooden shakes off a few more branches and scatters leaves in preparation for the winter's rest.

Stonefolk have endured millions of years as liquid, ash, rock, pebble and finally sand and dust.

Icicles are water at rest but still on the move as they slide together down a sloping roof.

Dreamers follows the arc of the sun during one blustery day when it sparks off the snow and hides behind trees. 
THE CALL MOSS LIGHT

THE BLUEWOOD

BONE REMEMBERS

SLEEP

The Call is the final warning that  the arrival of winter is imminent. Those not prepared must hurry.

Moss, lichens and liverwort are tiny plants active and thriving under the snow in the dim light.

Bluewood is a journey to a secret place found at the end of ice tunnels under the snow.

Bone lies strewn about the mesa tops enduring the ceaseless howl of the winter winds.

Sleep at long last arrives to blanket all in deep snow and a calming silence.

 questions,  comments & replies

Winterlogue looks at details
when I worked as a biologist my favorite tools were the microscope, magnifying lens and binoculars. I could hardly wait to get back into a lab and peer through the microscope at a tiny drop of water or at an insect the size of a pin head. The detail in a tiny living being never ceases to astonish and delight!! In winter there are few birds, no insects and all the plants are in suspended mode - very quiet, very still. I wanted to look at those details - what does hibernating, sleeping, resting life look like? What is going on under the snow, underground, in holes and crevices.

the nurturing silence of winter
my goal was to gather the broken pieces of my creative life, like searching for an exploded, scattered jigsaw puzzle, and put them back together again. ha! like Humpty Dumpty.  I used the concept of following the season, doing what everyone else in the natural world would be doing. I dropped my leaves and fell into the nurturing soil of silence.  And hiding under the cover of this silence, I could hear the little peeps of the lost jigsaw parts amid all the crap and tension. I would hone in on that peep, find that piece and take it out for a walk which resulted in its' becoming a little more pure again.

music without instruments
I came to New Mexico with the plan to work on a set of books I had started to prototype in New York, so I arrived with boxes of books and reading material. When I got here though and began walking I became entranced by all the teeny tiny sounds of winter and instantly knew that I needed to work with those first. I begain to have a conversation with them and since I didn't bring any musical instruments with me, I created music samples and loops to approximate the voices, rhythms and narratives.  The soundtracks are like notes to myself, sketches which I will build up and refine later.

walking is rhythmic and calming
I simply adore walking in nature. Some of the best experiences I've ever had occured while walking in a desert or along a beach or through a forest. After about 30 minutes of continuous walking my body just starts to hum and it's like I can hear all these tiny happy chirps, dinks and chortles of my body settling into a groove. Once I'm in this groove state, then I begin to be flooded with ideas. Walking is actually how I think, it's somhow fueled by movement. Once I've worked up a small sweat, ideas flow, all I do is go home and work with them until they fit together.

listening carefully
I've definitely missed being able to (and actually needing to) listen very carefully to the sounds in my environment. In the cities I wear earplugs most of the time to block out the torrent of sonic assaults-sirens, screams, jackhammering, honking, subway rumbles, gas pipe hissing, you name it. Among trees, I WANT to hear every little creak, bird chirp, furry footstep or leaf flutter. It's all a morse code signal reporting on the state of this very moment. 

recovering delight, surprise
with this collection of walks I wanted to remind/convince myself that I was not frozen over and dead and that nature was still alive and delightful as ever.

the order of walks
the order is a journey that takes you from the hightest point on a mesa mountan top down into the individual crystals that form a little ice tree. I didn't set out to do a narrative journey at first even though I had set myself on something of a narrative path.

the sound of Winterlogue
I am attempting to create the kinds of sounds I need to hear right now. A very big choir sound sung by 100s of small voices, but done so very softly. It's like a kind of sound food. I have heard these sounds all my life and I just assumed I would find music that would approximate it and amplify it...

other walks, other seasons
yeah, now that I've experimented with winter, I'm curious to see what spring, summer and fall would be like.  There are so many permutations to try even with winter, so many more kinds of quiet to explore. It's January now and I'm still not quite ready for Spring, I'm still enjoying the silence, and the snow. 

inner and outer landscapes
a crucial lesson I've learned is that the inner landscape takes its' cues from the outer landscape and is either strengthened or weakened by it.

 

 Copyright 2008 Ajay Revels All rights reserved.