The dream of islands can represent our greatest desires and our worst fears, a pastoral idyll and a nightmare of isolation and loss. Surrounded by its walls of water it embodies the notion of separateness, inaccessibility to those outside and confinement to those inside. The piece traces a journey from an unspecified pole to twelve islands and back again. These islands are remote, uninhabited, and real but they are rendered hypothetical, as abstract ideas. I don’t wish to name them here, because I would like to keep them as fictions, but their bays and rocks are named in the music, encoded in the notes (if anyone cares to decipher them). These names, which are traces of the desires of their one-time inhabitants, are crystallized in singular microtonal pentatonic patterns, each one slightly different from the other, the tuning being affected by the actual GPS position. Hypothetical islands is in this way an acoustic atlas, a carto-sonic fantasy on the notion of remote desert spaces.
Sky Macklay Choppy (2017)
Choppy: like the aperiodic, unstable, unpredictable, interference-y waves found on lakes and oceans on windy or stormy days
This piece features extensive use of uneasy multiphonics throughout the ensemble to create an atmosphere reflective of the ‘chop’ one might encounter on a lake during a stormy day. As an oboist herself, Macklay’s use of extended techniques and buzzy reeds showcases her compositional style, which presents bold contrasts, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound.
Sam Pluta Atens (2022)
My recent music has focused on intertwining composed and improvised music in gray scales of interactions and superimpositions. Atens continues this focus, layering explicit material with free playing, thus embracing Splinter Reeds’ copious skills in both strata.