Good Morning. I just shuffled off my daughter to the bus stop on this cold and still morning. We may call it Fall but by the feel of it nature has hunkered down for winter. The deer’s coats are gray, the leaves on the big oaks are gone and unless I put out some bird seed in the feeders, I will rarely see or hear a bird, save a gull here and there. Gulls can be found soaring high above searching out for food, instinctively they know the creeks below, where they find so much easy prey, will soon be frozen, and rather than floating on those creeks they will be sleeping on its frozen surface for months to come. The sound I already miss at this time of year and welcome in the Spring is the distant whirr of outboard motors. It is a sound that can affect me like a suggestive word in hypnosis.
This sound file is the ending of A Fool’s Journey. The material for this piece was inspired by the sounds of laughter, all types of laughing. When I began composing this piece I would sit by an open window in my apartment ten floors above Fifth avenue and listen to how people laugh and I would listen to how people laugh everywhere I went. I would listen to how their laughter would affect me and I would also notate their laughter in my mind and later put it down on paper. A Fool’s Journey is not a catalog of laughter by any means but it is a collection of laughter. It was also liberating to use laughter as a musical material. Different types of laughter have different types of energy and so can be used for different purposes throughout the composition. This excerpt contains various giggles, wails and guffaws.