“The question arises: why, in a book written by a composer with music as a focus, am I discussing at such length my ramblings in the Oaxacan mountains? With little or no references to music? ‘Composers must experiment with life, first’ wrote Dane Rudhyar some fifty years ago—and that answers the question. If I talk about life so consistently (my own, naturally, the only one I know), it is to bring it all back, in the end, to music…Those places, the traveling, the views, encounters, the hours have changed the music. The stream of peoples, lone houses, flowers, birds, gorges—there is a music to all that, the silence of those afternoon hours…In the Oaxacan sierra I have felt most distant from everything/everyone I know, most alone with myself and “all my road,” alone with my creative voice. An absolute state, the passing landscape its indecipherable record…and music? Could my own, or the cultures I proclaim, stand up to the silence of these ranges, one stretching away from another to a high distant horizon? What culture, but these distances, this silence, the sun beating down from above?” — Peter Garland
This album documents two books of Piano Inventions, the first written in 2010 at the Banff Centre, the second in 2015 in Albuquerque, along with two "three-part inventions" incorporating the guitar and viola of Ben Hjertmann and Chris Fisher-Lochhead. All of the pieces were derived from free improvisations, and represent a sort of introspective spiritual cartography.
"My soul didn't know what kind of picture to paint," said the abstract expressionist painter in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Bluebeard, "but my meat sure did."
The cover art is Winter Nights (2016) by Mary Laube.