Scott Scharf – Drifting the upper layers

While perusing the photographs now on display in the "Luminous Garden" exhibit at The Project Room gallery, I could not help but think what an auspicious setting in which to hear my flute and bass flute duo drifting the upper layers. For me, each of Paul den Hollander's photographs creates a surrealistic micro-world of biodiversity—an unseen ever-present image, or as Hollander describes, "the usually invisible electromagnetical fields that surround and penetrate plants in relation to a known physical reality."

It is with a degree of humility that I, too, am enamored with Nature and her processes. A curiosity with deep sea explorations and the intangible characteristics of the ocean seem, only in retrospect, to be the kernel of my composition. Many explorers write about their slow descent and mention the marine snow: both organic and inorganic particles that fall from the upper layers of the sea to the bottom. Over the course of writing, this piece began to take on the movement of layered, seemingly free-floating, material that makes up this underwater haze. Though it was not my intention to wholly mimic the unsettled vestige, it has inspired me nonetheless.

I am excited to have Fonema Consort take on this challenging piece—challenging because of the constant state of motion. All of the piece has an underlying percussive element played by both performers. This is overlaid with each playing multiphonics (with increasingly fewer rests the performers struggle for breath). The piece is essentially a temporally stretched harmonic progression where the focus narrows on the density and register irregularly interweaving between the parts.