Program 695: Christopher Luna-Mega
KALW Broadcast Date: May 8, 2022 | Host: Ed Herrmann
This week on Music from Other Minds, composer Christopher Luna-Mega talks with host Ed Herrmann about his use of nature as a musical model and source of inspiration. He discusses growing up in Mexico City, his long held fascination with bird song and other nature sounds, and the specific compositional approaches used in each of the pieces on Time’s Arrow, a newly released CD from Other Minds Records. Luna-Mega has developed a process he calls “environmental sonic translation,” in which nature sounds are recorded, transcribed, and converted into musical scores for acoustic and electronic instruments. In this practice nature provides guidance for both the structure and details of the music, as well as a spiritual foundation. For example, in Water Study No. 1, Luna-Mega recorded drops of water falling into a porcelain bowl, transcribed the rhythms and pitches made by the water drops, then created a score for chamber ensemble consisting of short phrases based on the pitches and rhythms of the water drops. Besides the five works on Time’s Arrow, the program also includes Night Music, a composition for woodwinds based on a field recording of cicadas, katydids, and other insects. The piece is performed by the Bay Area group Splinter Reeds.