I've always had a fascination of water and but specifically- the oceans and the seas. The ocean to me is a representation of the unknown and the fear of the unknown. The deepest point ever reached by man is 35,858 feet below the surface of the ocean, which happens to be as deep as water gets on earth; however light can only travel down to 1000 feet in the ocean- therefore the rest of the journey is in complete darkness and through the unknown. Throughout history there have been myths about what truly is at the bottom of the ocean; mermaids, monsters, and the more have been speculated to dwell under the sea. Hans Egede, a Dano-Norwegian missionary, reported that on a voyage to Godthåb on the western coast of Greenland he observed:
"a most terrible creature, resembling nothing they saw before. The monster lifted its head so high that it seemed to be higher than the crow's nest on the mainmast. The head was small and the body short and wrinkled. The unknown creature was using giant fins which propelled it through the water. Later the sailors saw its tail as well. The monster was longer than our whole ship."
RIPTIDES explores the fears of life and the fear of the unknown with the setting of the ocean. The beginning represents the call to the sea by the flute. As the piece developes into the melody, the color becomes distorted by the danger surrounding and from there the energy shifts into a frantic thrill ride. The piece is decorated with dissonance, glissando techniques and textures that are completely different from the texture I use. In the middle of the piece, there is a mermaid call- representing the alluring qualities of dangers and fear; as the call grows, fear lurks the listener and we return to the frantic nature of the piece. The piece is build off of eccentric percussion like the conch shell horn, ocean drums and thumb rolls on the timpani and bass drum. Finally the piece reaches the climax of the piece as the listener goes to the deepest part of the unknown- however, unafraid and bold, the listener continues the journey to go further- past the point of music and into another unknown.