III. Drawing Slumber
I’ve always been intrigued by lullabies for they are unique songs with a universal function. People all across the world use lullabies to put their children to sleep through sung stories, reflecting their culture and times, whether true or made up. I have found the simplicity yet bittersweetness of lullabies to remind me of the toy piano. Simultaneously simple and complex, these songs that have the sheen of purity and peace often carry shadows and doubts from the parent singing it.
Tell Me A Tale is like a bedtime story that parents whimsically think up to amuse their children. We often have no idea where the story will go, so we pick a place to start that leads us to unexpected places. We sometimes surprise or even delight ourselves in this but quickly bring the story to an end, hopefully drawing on a moral that fits our liking. The S(w)inging Automata uses my hand-cranked music box. Like a player piano, I create my piece by punching holes out of a card strip so that each hole allows a music box tine to sound when cranked through the mechanism. The mechanical nature of the instrument is both haunting yet inexpressive, which reminded me of the wind-up figurines toys I loved as a child. Drawing Slumber uses a live electronic patch that loops samples of the music box and toy piano, while the strings continue to layer the texture with gradual rhythmic loops, evoking the settling of one’s breathing pattern to sleep.