Meru: Tracing Earth for flute and electronic sound
In Down the River, Edward Abbey wrote “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” I was a ten-year-old Midwesterner the first time I saw the Rockies. I discovered then that I—like people from many cultures around the world—have a strong spiritual connection with the mountains wilderness.
I spend most of my waking hours using technology and teaching others how to use it. It is how I make both my living and my art. Technology and nature both possess a kind of magic. Art—the way humans express and understand some of the deepest parts of being human—brings these two essential parts of my life together.
This project started with a desire to combine my research interest in algorithmic composition and my need to be connected to the wilderness that surrounds me. I have always seen musical trajectories in the peaks and passes of mountain ranges. To create this work, GPS data was collected in the Bridger and Gallatin ranges and on a float down the Ruby River in southwestern Montana. The data was mapped onto musical parameters to create the instrumental part.
Meru Peak is a mountain in the Uttarakhand region of India. Mount Meru is a mythical five-peaked mountain in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain cosmology and is considered to be the center of the physical and spiritual universes. It is said to lie in the middle of the Earth and extend beneath the surface of the surrounding waters. It is used as a metaphor for size and stability in Buddhist tradition.
Performer Biographical Sketch
Dr. Linda Antas is a composer, arts technologist, flutist, and educator. Her compositions have been performed and broadcast around the world and are published on the Ablaze, TauKay, Centaur, EMS, and Media Café labels. Her works have appeared on festivals around the world, including the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), the Città di Udine International Composition Competition (Taukay Edizioni Musicali), Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and the Sound and Music Computing Conference. She has been recognized by the Musica Nova International Competition of Electroacoustic Music, the Fulbright Foundation, the Bourges Electroacoustic Composition Competition, the Fifth International Congress on Synesthesia: Science and Art, and the International Computer Music Association.
As a flutist, she has performed at the National Flute Association Convention, SEAMUS, the Phonos Foundation’s (Barcelona) Instrumental-Electroacoustica Festival, the Seattle Chamber Players’ Icebreaker Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, and the Electroacoustic Barn Dance.
Her current research interests are sonification, visual music, real-time signal processing, and physical computing. She is an Associate Professor at Montana State University, where she teaches music technology, interdisciplinary multimedia courses, and composition. In addition to—and sometimes in combination with—musical activities, she spends as much time in the wilderness as possible. Her life and music are heavily influenced by Buddhist philosophy and the natural world. She lives in the Gallatin Range just outside Bozeman, MT with her husband Mike, two highly amusing Labrador Retrievers, and as many freshwater tropical fish as healthily fit in 100 gallons of water.