Mostly good news!
A blush of spring has melted snow in these parts, but it’s a temporary truce with winter; the forecast calls for one more dance before closing time. And I’m okay with that — the colder weather might bring out the aurora borealis (which hid behind clouds, last month — sigh).
With PLAN B in play, I’ve repurposed INSIGHT TREKS, finessing the materiel on hand and whatnot; I’m now leaning toward making an app for wireless devices such as your mobile phone and digital tablets; it will be immediately useful ‘in the field’ triggered by GPS, for example, illuminating ‘songs in the land’ at a given location (the content — 3D sound, text, short films — will also be available in ‘armchair’ mode).
Here’s a ‘frame grab’ from one of the short films Misshepezhieu (a ‘rock art’ site on Lake Superior); the work in progress will be animated by Jack Bride, a fellow artist and kindred spirit.
Misshepezhieu was a major influence on the art of Norval Morrisseau (more on him in a moment). The painter visited the numinous spot, which, for well over a century had only been rumoured to exist.
In 1958, Selwyn Dewdney first came upon Misshepezhieu, following years of searching for the site; it was a tough slog by canoe — miles of coastline with few settlements to speak of let alone humans to consult — his only guide was the historical accounts of Henry Schoolcraft.
Agawa Bay, as it’s called along the TransCanada Highway, inspires awe and a sense of being outside the constraints of present time. No wonder artists love it.
“My paintings are icons,” Morrisseau said, echoeing the intent of ochre pictographs that mark the upward thrusts of granite on Lake Superior. “They are images which help focus on spiritual powers, generated by traditional belief and wisdom.”
Here is 3D audio Winter waves on Misshepezhieu, the soundtrack for the short film (use headphones for the immersive effect).
In February, I recorded with Paul Dunn and Tom Linklater, a suite of five instrumental tracks to accompany voiceover & bridges to the 3D soundscapes; here’s a pre-release of one of the tunes (mixed for regular speakers): Tie Creek (a ragged lament).
Here’s what inspired the instrumental: Tie Creek sits snug along the border between Manitoba and Ontario, and is well hidden from campers who enjoy Whiteshell Provincial Park.
For ten years, I had been attempting to visit the effigy stones in the back country that’s off-limits for the casual tourist (if you’re lucky enough to find it on your own). Park interpreter Ron Bell (to the right in the picture above) was good enough to take me into the bush, and tell of his fascination with a particularly numinous spot, he says, that’s “lonely for human company.” It’s true. The instrumental track is what I felt there…