Mare Insularum

Mare Insularum translates from Latin as Sea of Islands. It refers to a basin on the moon bordered by the craters Copernicus and Kepler. In the past, storytellers thought these lunar circles were filled with water when in fact they are basaltic plains. The Sea of Islands is dry.

I think about this contradiction as I bicycle in the rain. Will the Pacific Northwest one day be dry?

Insularum comes from the Latin root "to insult." As an acoustic composer in a sea of computer music composers, I find myself abashed. I feel lost amongst machines and run towards rocks and trees, watching electricity in the form of lightning from a distance.

For a performance as part of Electric Island, I enlist the cassette tape recorder. My electronic equipment hisses and clicks. It channels the news. It plays at uneven speeds. Yet, perhaps because it is as old as I am, I find the patience to record water sounds and listen.

Like with water, the old recorder becomes a place where I play, gurgle, drown, and reflect on whether the world will be consumed in a deluge or left in a drought.

Mare Insularum premieres at the Island Music Guild Hall on Bainbridge Island on November 12, 2006.