PASSAGE

by dreamSTATE

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Jewel-case with full-colour artwork and detailed project notes.
    Design and photo-manipulations by Jamie Todd.
    Photography by Scott M2

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  • Lynn Harrigan's verse novel which inspired the dreamSTATE album "PASSAGE".

    124 pages - Published by Black Moss Press (August 18, 2005)

    Lynn Harrigan is a teacher, fiber-artist and poet living in Toronto. Her projects often involve collaboration with musicians and other visual artists and have ranged from haiku/art exhibits to multi-media installations and radio-art recorded with soundscape artists.

    www.lynnharrigan.com
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about

These soundscapes were created for the "Bread and Water" multimedia installation which ran from August 28th to October 24th 2004 at the Huron Historic Gaol in Goderich, Ontario Canada.


The installation was inspired by "Moon Sea Crossing", a collection of poems by Lynn Harrigan that tells the story of Aina, a woman who immigrated to Canada with her family during the 1840s. Fleeing the Great Famine in Ireland, they settled in the District of Huron.

The pressures of pioneer life, caring for a large family and enduring several miscarriages led to a mental breakdown for Aina. Her breakdown was precipitated by a fall into a creek which triggered yet another miscarriage. There were no psychiatric hospitals available in those times and Aina was eventually placed in the Huron District Gaol, a facility where not only criminals but the mentally ill, epileptic and homeless were incarcerated.

Later, her husband Thomas drove her through the deep winter to Toronto where a temporary lunacy asylum had been created in one of the city's gaols. Archival records indicate that Aina was pronounced cured by late spring and returned to her family who, despite their troubles, appear to have not only survived but prospered.


A series of rooms within the gaol revealed Aina's internal and external journey with selected poems played from individual handheld listening units, black & white landscape photography by Shannon Kroeplin, paintings by Linda Wiebe and these soundscapes - each created to support the underlying emotions of their associated poems and played through seven stereo systems mounted within the various spaces.


The soundscapes can be experienced as pure sound outside of their original context and interpreted in any way one chooses.


"Serene, smooth, and cool, this is first-class ambient through and through. Right now the birds are chirping on “Clearing” as a gentle rhythm chugs slowly by. The balance between simplicity and complexity is perfect. The music evolves seemingly with ease, yet you can hear the thought behind it and the craft that went into it. Detailed liner notes explain the story behind the music, which was created for a multimedia event in Ontario. The dark subject matter is apparent in tracks like “Fall” and “Captive,” both of which beautifully capture the mood they seek to emulate, the latter particularly haunting as dark choirs wail in the background. By far the brightest and prettiest track is “Watershed,” which is reenacted at the disc’s closing in “Watershed Reprise,” signifying hope at the end of the dark journey. Highly recommended."
~ Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

"dreamSTATE’s music, highly impressionistic, doesn’t attempt to make real the literary metaphors upon which they base this recording, but instead opt for “tone poems” reflecting/refracting distance, longing, tribulation. ... Patently well-done, particularly in the origination of sound structures that are intentionally minimal when necessary, the drones indeed becoming imagistic phenomena, Passage’s sound fairly congeals the oxygen around you into shadows and fog."
~ Darren Bergstein / e/i magazine

"Evaluating Passage as an ambient recording is easy. This is an excellent CD, provided you enjoy this genre as a textural experience, comprised of ethereal and glowing spacemusic-like washes as well as darker drone-style ambient soundscapes (with the exception of Clearing). The technical quality is flawless and the choice (by Moore and Todd) to separate the tracks with a few seconds of silence does not detract from the overall cohesive impact of the entire album. However, that said, the true power of this CD comes from integrating the "story" with the music, where you, the listener, immerse yourself in Aina's tale (she is the lead character) and allow the recording to walk you through her tragedy as well as (hopefully) her triumphant crawl from the abyss. It is within this context that Passage elevates itself from being merely a good recording to being an important artistic statement. I highly recommend this album in either regard."
~ Bill Binkelman / Wind and Wire

credits

released August 28, 2004

All music by dreamSTATE - Scott M2 and Jamie Todd
except 2 "Clearing" by Scott M2 and 7 "Gyre" by Jamie Todd
Copyright 2004 dreamSTATE - SOCAN - MAPL

Produced by Scott McGregor Moore
CD mastering and manufacturing by URM

Design and photo manipulations by Jamie Todd
Photos of the Huron Historic Gaol by Scott M2

"Moon Sea Crossing" is published by Black Moss Press (2005)

dreamSTATE would like to thank Lynn Harrigan for instigation and inspiration, The Corporation of the County of Huron, Friends of the Huron County Museum, Patricia Hamilton (curator of the Huron County Museum) and the Historic Gaol), Matthew Poulakakis, Rik MacLean, all the good people at THE AMBiENT PiNG and our families and friends everywhere.

e-SPACE Editions - ESCD 1002

www.dreamSTATE.to

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about

dreamSTATE Toronto, Ontario

Founded in 1995, the dreamSTATE duo of Scott M2 and Jamie Todd are a Canadian ambient music group best known for their soundscape installations and trailblazing live ambient and drone music performances.

They also curate the long-running AMBiENT PiNG concert series in Toronto and are founders of the DRONE:KLUB community drone-improv group.
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Track Name: Crossing
The voyage from Ireland to Canada: hopes and dreams, hunger and sickness, storms and calm moonlit seas.
Track Name: Clearing
In their new home, the hard work begins: clearing the land, building a small cabin, planting their first garden and crops while raising a family.
Track Name: Watershed
While washing clothes in the creek on a beautiful late summer afternoon, Aina falls in and is rescued by her eldest daughter Ciara. The accident triggers a miscarriage and eventually a mental breakdown.
Track Name: Fall
Though Aina survives the miscarriage, her mental state worsens as the season grows colder and bleaker.
Track Name: Captive
In desperation, Thomas takes Aina to the Huron District Gaol where she is assessed and incarcerated.
Track Name: Stone and Sky
Music for the gaol's walled courtyard where inmates could stretch and see the sky again.
Track Name: Gyre
Aina's spirit spirals downward in her small wooden cell.
Track Name: Watershed Reprise
A return to the "Watershed" soundscape - representing the hope for a return to normal life outside the gaol walls.