ADITYA RYAN BHAT: fixed/fleeting
(Electroacoustic music with rivers, plant matter, synthesiser, saxophones, and percussion ad lib.). Duration: approx. 28 minutes.
This music comes from my longstanding preoccupation with rivers. The title fixed/fleeting refers to the two timescales on which rivers exist. They flow and change constantly, every moment; but their courses are shaped over thousands of years. It also alludes to a paradox in the music presented tonight: the electroacoustic part has a ‘fixed’ form, though it consists almost exclusively of random-seeming, ephemeral sounds. The saxophone part strives to manifest this internal contradiction by emphasising instabilities and fragilities in otherwise ‘constant’ sound.
I hesitate to claim authorship for this music. Much of it features hydrophonic recordings of the Birrarung (Yarra), Brahmaputra, Derwent (timtumili minanya), and Melendiz (Uluırmak) Rivers. They are mostly responsible for what you hear. I have just tried to draw the threads together, most importantly the relationship between settler-colonialism and ecological crisis. Rivers are one of the main theatres in which this relationship manifests: e.g., right here in the Birrarung, which over the years has been polluted by industry, artificially deepened, and had its course altered. Part of the commission fee has been contributed to the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Aboriginal Corporation for the protection of the river.
Where possible, I have tried to tread carefully around the voices of other-than-human contributors; if there is any insensitivity in the composition, I will do my best to address it as I continue to dwell on musical-political-ecological entanglements.
Kuku Yalanji, muwinina/palawa, Wurundjeri & Yorta Yorta Countries;
Yasmin, Ravi, & Aaron Bhat;
Callum G’Froerer, Joe O’Connor & Andy Butler;
Brent Miller/Melbourne Conservatorium of Music;
Charley Woolmore/Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Aboriginal Corporation;
& the obliging people at Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Assam.