• Agua8:26

frank stemper

Agua (2011)
for Wind Ensemble and computer enhanced water sounds - 7.5 minutes


The first spark of AGUA came last May, while working in Spain.  I had been invited by the Fundación Valparaiso, an artist retreat in Mojácar, to live and work with several painters, writers, poets, etc., in an artist retreat on the Southeast Mediterranean coast – tough work, but somebody had to do it!  My studio overlooked mountains that lined the coast, as well as the Pueblo, that was built into the side of a cliff above me.  There was wind, rain, some thunder and many trips down the mountain to swim in the sea and drink Mojitos.  While there, a few of us also took a short trip to the beautiful city of Granada, where we toured the huge Moorish Fortress, Alhambra.  There, in a huge courtyard, I was taken by the sound of enormous fountains.  One of the artists, Tanja Softic, a Bosnian painter now living in Virginia, recorded the fountains for me with her camera, and they are part of the sounds that you will hear tonight.  Then, after returning to Mojácar, I made several more recordings of the rain, the Sea, and flowing rivers and mountain streams.  AGUA, then, is a piece for band accompanied by the sounds of Spanish water – although I like to think that the band is accompanying the water.  The electric part is “performed” or synchronized with the winds on a computer through a MAX/msp patch created for me by composer Tom Flaherty.