Monday, January 28, 2008

On hearing the new Bjorn Lynne album "Quiet Places"...

Listening to this interesting composer's "Quiet Places" online, who's now back in his native Norway (I remember the interesting "Norwegian Hall" in St. James, NY I once attended) I seem to recall another composition I once heard, "Pea Point" that I think I might have been to, in Maine, a guy there in a US Army "jungle hammock" with tarp and attached screen netting. "Pea Point" we heard in an "experimental" residential college of the "Visual and Performing Arts" - College B in Buffalo, NY (who will be the "Berkeley of the East"?) There were a couple of other alphabet colleges within the university, a Vico College, a Pre-med College, a Math College, a Women's Studies, "B" also had off-campus attachments, Oakstone Farm for philosophy, the A.C.T. for performance, and was to have been centered in new residential/education facilities designed or assisted by the architecture, also late in arriving. The idea, perhaps, was to put "like-minded" students together. I transferred in from the separate adult Millard Fillmore College night school into the day school after a semester.

One of the classes, a "Seminar in the Arts" was held in one of the lounges of then newly opening dorms and law school, one dorm designed by the architectural firms I.M. Pei, another by Davis-Brody both known in NYC. A different artist would come to the lounge every week from the greater Buffalo, NY area and discuss their work. It was quite an interesting class. We had to read for example an essay written by Leslie Fiedler on the Altamont, California charity concert on the West Coast, produced by the "The Rolling Stones" shown in the documentary "Gimme Shelter". I was not at it, though attended the "Woodstock Music and Arts Fair" in 1969 and had visited a number of times, Woodstock, NY the year before as a summer-camp dishwasher at Timber Lake Camp near Phoenicia, NY when I was sixteen for food and entertainment. I had been hired when a BSA Explorer friend, Louie Lieb, who worked there, suggested it.

Some of the ambient music here and there remind me of the Maine coast, visiting as it were, nearby Grand Manan Island, in the Bay of Fundy, where relatives live, a short way from Campobello Island, but an over two hour ferry ride from Blacks Harbour, historically a closer trip to Eastport, Maine. My cousin was one of the last lighthouse keepers and "right whales" there have a nursery and swim up and down the coast to Florida. DNA studies were done by Guelph University, a crossbow and string would retrieve a small piece of skin to study. Down at "The Whistle" where one can see the Fourth of July fireworks over the US, where the Eddystone Point is, the Grand Manan Channel is deep, and I stood alone not two feet from two whales parked at the shore! Nearby on Indian Beach, I once spread dulse to dry on the large cobbles, having picked the red seaweed with relatives back in 1967 at a lunar low tide, and the Sun, after 29 days of fog and rain, did shine on the larger than ostrich egg size cobbles and dried the edible seaweed now also harvested in the US, some of this music reminds me of the Quoddy tides. Willa Cather once lived nearby in Whale Cove in the only house she ever owned a cottage there near "the hole in the wall". "O Pioneers! " has it's "Norway Creek" Grand Manan its dangerous tides and fogs and people down the island in Seal Cove that sound like 'downeasters" from the States. Seal Cove was settled by a Dr. Faxon, who built the island's first square-rigger but left over the questions of loyalty over the War of 1812 returning to Maine I think which didn't become a state until 1820.

In 1839:

* Maine Gov. John Fairfield (1797-1847) declares war on England, resulting in the bloodless Aroostook War, the result of an ongoing dispute about the northeastern boundary of between Maine and New Brunswick. - Maine Memory Network ( Maine's online museum)

A lot of potatoes come from Aroostook. The big highway I-95 ends at the US/Canada border, across the border is Woodstock, New Brunswick.

On WNYC-TV I saw a travel show about Bangor, Maine, home of the famous American horror author Stephen King. I haven't been through there since 1988 when I think he found he had an unwanted guest secreted in his house! They said, Bangor, on the Penobscot River was once the busiest port on the East Coast of the US. Today, it has an international airport.

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