Monday, January 17, 2011

River Mandala

River Labyrinth: 1/17/11, on the ice of the Huron River at Argo Park

Here is what I did today when I needed a break from composing. My colleague the wonderful  soprano Carmen Pelton made a labyrinth in her yard this summer,  and she recently loaned my wife and I a book on the history and process. The book taught how to plot the walls of a classical seven-course Minoan labyrinth, (as in the neolithic tomb carving below) but to make one out of snow I had to teach myself how to create one by walking the path. 

neolithic tomb labyrinth

Creating the shape by walking the path means that the shape won't be mathematically proportional, but drawn freehand by walking, in this case, with a shovel.This practice used parts of my brain that I haven't accessed since I was an early adolescent, and for a time obsessively drew mazes (motivated by what, I cannot remember.)

I'm tempted to draw some metaphoric connection to composing though, in which we lay out a path through action, and ask others to follow it...and of course the difference between a labyrinth and a maze is that in the former there is only one path to follow, instead of many...

Tomorrow's forecast: rain.

Mandala center

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