About 25 years ago, during one of my many trolls through a record store cutout bin, I bought an album called Citadels by Bernie Krause. I'm not sure what attracted me to it, though I suspect that it was during that time that I became interested in jazz and other kinds of instrumental music. I'm absolutely certain that I knew none of the musicians on that record and would bet that the word 'synthesizer' sealed the deal. The music is the kind of thing that today might get lumped into either of the "new age" or "world music" categories. Back then, I'm sure that I was satisfied with the eclectic nature of the sounds (oh yes, Mr. Jazz Snob was just getting started).
About six months ago, me and TheWife™ were digging through a used bookstore when I came upon Into A Wild Sanctuary, written by a Bernie Krause. Could that be? Sure enough, Krause had gone on to a long career just blooming with film scores (including Rosemary's Baby and Apocalypse Now) and much interesting work in the field of bioacoustics. More recently, he added a KML layer to Google Earth, allowing the user to listen to area-specific soundscapes.
Later today, me and TheWife™ will be tossing a couple of bags into the Mini and taking a drive up through the middle of central Maine. We really need to get away. There isn't a plan so much as a vague need to be in the state. I've always felt that need ever since leaving in the mid-1980s. More recently, the pull has become very strong. This may sound like some sort of Hallmark snippet but when I'm there, I feel... hmmm, what's the word?... right. From Krause's book:
Throughout my experiences as a musician and naturalist, I have discovered that an essential place for me is the natural wild, a place where I can leave behind the noise of my life and finally hear the sounds that speak resonantly to my soul. It is a place where my senses are truly alive and, at the same time, completely at peace.
It's interesting how an album I bought so long ago managed to weave a thread, however indirectly, through a quarter century of my life.
In the middle of my mom's decline, TheWife™ decided that it wouldn't be long before we pulled up stakes and moved to Maine. This was something we've always had in the back of our minds, but it takes a real life shakeup to put into stark relief the fact that none of us know how much time we have left. So... we're going home.