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Newburgh: approaching snow storm
© Copyright Martyn Gorman and
licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
I have been working on the piece for some time now. The foundation of the music happened in a moment of inspiration. The inspiration arose out of a setback. On March 10, I had been on Vancouver Island visiting my parents and came home early that Thursday to be ready for an Under the Piano session that evening.
I do a fair bit of preparation before clients come as I like to create a welcoming and beautiful space in which they can experience an Under the Piano session. As they lie under my piano my clients enjoy a visual, tactile and aromatic experience as well as an auditory experience. There are lush cushions and silky sheets, a myriad of candles, original art on the walls and the option of aroma therapy included in the powerful experience of being massaged and cocooned by the vibrations produced by my piano and the auditory journey created by my music.
The client did not show. Disappointment.
But I was ready and primed for creation: the candles were all lit. A magical ambience had been created. In the meantime, a wind storm had been brewing outside. My apartment “expresses” itself when a storm comes along. The windows rattle and howl as the wind buffets the building. Despite this, at about 7:30 pm I turned on the recorder and created some music. My experience was meditative and I was powerfully in the moment despite the howling and rattling of my windows. Even though the music rose to a loud climax, I thought it only appropriate to call it a “Meditation in a Storm”.
As I was soon to discover, there was a much bigger “storm” than the one outside my apartment. After recording the music, I transferred it to my computer and spent about 4 hours playing with the creation. Normally, I do not edit my recordings, but I became curious to see what I could do to remove the wind noises in the background. It took awhile because I had never attempted this before. I was finally complete a few minutes before midnight. I walked to my local 24 hour supermarket to get a snack. As I waited in the line at the till, I looked up at the big screen TV to see the horrific devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami that had just hit Japan. The earthquake had hit Japan at 5:46pm, March 11: with the time difference, this is almost exactly when I had completed the piece I had so unwittingly and so aptly named Meditation in a Storm.
Unconsciously, was I creating my meditation in answer to a much bigger and drastic event that was happening in the world? As I later added the orchestrations to this piano piece, my intention and thoughts have often been with the people in Japan. I dedicate Meditation in a Storm to the people of Japan, who have demonstrated such incredible presence of mind, partnership and compassion in the face of this disaster.