All tracks copyright 2007 David Wayne Higgins
“An Apology to Phillip Glass”
I hope Phillip Glass will forgive me. A few years ago, I wrote a review bit on an Amazon page about the CD “Music With Changing Parts.” I wrote that it was a great CD for clearing the house when you wanted every one to leave, and that if someone did stay, that you should open a bottle of wine and have a discussion on the subject of using music as a method of torture. I actually happen to love that particular piece of music. I was going to add to the short review saying how much I personally admired the piece, but hit the send button by accident, got cut off, and then could never edit the review. I have seen this short review pop up all over the internet, and I hope Mr. Glass has not taken offense to the remark. I consider him as one of my favorite composers, I think what he did for music in the 20th and 21st centuries will be remembered for centuries to come. I also think he is a very nice man, having met him and got his autograph on my copy of “Einstein on the Beach.”
Recorded during the same session as “Basillica Neptuni”, I wanted it to be an introduction to the piece. As I decided to drop the title of the album from “What Is Art For?” to “Songs of Praise and Torture”, this
became a beginning the entire album.
I’ve been experimenting, and achieving music that sounds like it was created underwater. The Basillica Neptuni is an actual location in the forum ruins of Rome, but I thought it would be a good theme. A temple erected for the God Neptune should be underwater, no?
An Ever Bubbling Fountain Of Resplendence
This one has been bounced around so many times, and reworked and redone and remastered and recut, that I have no idea of the original idea. My son is good at helping me with titles, he came up with the ever bubbling fountain bit.
A homage to John Cage, of course. The notes imprisoned the loop were created with a “tuned” ring modulator.
Another song of nature from Oenyaw. I thought this depicted the stillness of the short season which comes after the first burst of cold in the winter, followed by warmth before the winter actually sets in. I don’t know why we call it “Indian Summer”, but I have always considered it a romantic time.
The Big Blue Dream
In a roundabout way, I was asked to do some rock and roll or blues. I did a few different smaller things, standard 12-bar blues riffs and progressions. I decided to put them all together in a dream sequence, sort of like the second side of Mountain’s “Flowers of Evil” album. Honestly, the choir at the end of the last part just “appeared.” Freaked me out! One of those recording sessions when you hear something
happening and you place yourself under an enormous amount of pressure to “not make one single mistake.” Torture.
As the title suggests, this one is a repetitive piece in a Gregorian tone, a chant, a music for making a tapestry depicting some mid-evil adventure. Like the torturing of people who do not accept the ideas of a minority of religious nuts who happen to be in power.
It was a dark and stormy night…
The original title was to be “It’s Raining, The Monster Is Approaching, And My Body Weighs Heavily In A Vertical Position Against The Stone Wall As I Reach For The Huge Obsidian Door Knocker”, but I opted for the famous opening line of Snoopy’s novel.
An Evening in the Lion’s Den
This is a personal favorite, and center piece of the entire project. I was thinking of a painting of Daniel in the Lion’s Den that I saw as a child. Daniel was in the middle of the lion’s den, standing in a light coming in
from the ceiling (or maybe some holy energy). All the lions were around him, quietly content, and not bothering him at all. The piece is in three movements. The first movement is “being shown the door”, the part were Daniel is taken into the den. The second movement is a song of praise, Daniel thanking God for everything he can possibly think of, as well a song of faith, the knowledge that God will keep him safe. The third movement explores the reality of the situation. “Oh shit, I’m in a den of lions!” The book of Daniel is really good, but it seems to be not written by Daniel himself.
Sunrise on North Field
There is a sod farm near by the place I live. The fields are named according to location. I have seen the sun rise, and set, on the farm and it can be absolutely beautiful. Deer walking around, squirrels playing, birds getting what ever insects they can find. This piece is about the beauty of nature itself. I was riding home the other night through the country and was passed by an SUV with the kids in the back seat watching television. I went on a rant, “Don’t look out the window, and do not talk to mommy and daddy! Just watch your show and be quiet.” Pitiful.