Olympic National Park
Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, the park features Old Growth temperate rainforests, mountains, ocean beaches and glaciers.
In the middle of August 2012 I set out to write some music in the Olympic National Park and Puget Sound for the American Heritage series. I spent 2 weeks camping around the peninsula with my Stella Acoustic Guitar and a set of Tablas. As the time passed a few themes came together musically and physically.
The Olympic Peninsula is dominated by a temperate rainforest with some parts receiving an average of 350cm/year.
The camping began with a trip across Puget Sound via ferry and never really left the Pacific Ocean. A night in Port Angeles, a few more on Third Beach, a week on Marrowstone Island and some more around Port Townsend. The descent to Third Beach ends at a stream running through a log jam to the Ocean beyond. At the other end of the beach, where I set up camp, was more running water and a waterfall down the southern headland of Strawberry Bay. The view was wonderful from the beach with rock formations, waterfall, even a sea plane made an appearance. Water played a big part in the activities around the Olympic Peninsula.
I enjoy working with music as a language and mathematical concepts. It's satisfying to see how out of context a melody or rhythm can get and maintain recognizability. Similarly, it is interesting to put two similar ideas together in an overlapping way and form a new idea which incorporates both the originals (much the same way that can and not form can't). Doing this with music yields some pretty interesting results, many times as a non-integer time signature (8.5/4 5.5/8, etc. . . ). This fluidity and foldability of the language has a prominent place in the compositions inspired by the Olympic Peninsula both in song structure and musical phrasing.
All in all the trip was a success with only one major downside. I lost the use of all of my electronics before the trip got underway. The laptop, digital camera and mp3 player I use all stopped working before leaving Seattle, the first stop on the trip. Stay tuned for a funding drive to replace them so the music can keep coming. As it stands there are almost no pictures from this activity except for one of the equipment on the Ferry to Bainbridge Island.