As water freezes and melts and crystals form or dissolve, interesting sonic worlds take shape. Slowing these down and finding tiny universes in the instants of freezing, I found similarities to the overall shapes of tides, sleet falling, snow being crunched, and streams moving toward lower ground engorged after heavy rains. The playfulness and witty action of some of these sounds is underscored by the slow (yet accelerating) process of climate change, as oceans rise, glaciers and ice fields melt and dissolve into the sea, becoming water again, posing massive challenges and dangers upon the people who continue to hasten the global melt. Humans still flock to the sea to watch it roll in and out, see its beauty, hear its roar and sonic shapes – but soon the oceans will get to visit us at our homes the world over, whether we like it or not, and we won’t get to escape them so easily. There’s still hope, but each ice field that melts, each iceberg that becomes the ocean, brings us closer to hearing the permanent, irreversible roars of the ocean and the altered states of the Earth’s climate.
Thomas Dempster is a composer of chamber, electroacoustic, and multimedia works. His music has been performed widely throughout the world, including the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, the San Francisco New Music Festival, the New York City Electronic Music Festival, International Computer Music Conference, the International Double Reed Society, PERUsax, the Navy Band Symposium, Saxofoneando-Bolivia, and numerous other venues. Dempster is a recipient of awards, honors, and grants from BMI, ASCAP, the South Carolina Arts Commission, to name a few, and he has held residencies at the Osage Arts Community and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and is a Cortona Fellow. Several of his works are commercially available from Potenza Music Publishing, MusicSpoke, Quiet Design Records, and Navona Records. He is an affiliate composer of Broadcast Music, Inc. He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (BM) and the University of Texas at Austin (MM, DMA). He is Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC. www.thomasdempster.com