Three Cape Cod-based composers will mark World Oceans Day (Friday, June 8) by releasing a new album of original music developed in collaboration with ocean scientists. It’s called Black Inscription, and two of the composers – the husband and wife team Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi – spoke with Living Lab Radio about it.
The composers promote the album as, “A multimedia song cycle that uses music, sound and imagery to plunge us into our oceans and fill us with wonder, outrage, and hope.”
It was inspired by their personal connection with the ocean and took on another layer of meaning when Bossi’s father died in 2017. He was “absolute lover of the ocean,”who was known informally as the “Mayor of Corporation Beach,” Bossi and Kihlstedt told Living Lab Radio. They dedicated a piece on the album to him.
Kihlstedt and Bossi also credit their unique surroundings as inspiration for the music. They live in Woods Hole, a town that is known for its proximity to water and its ocean science organizations, like Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Biological Laboratory, and Woods Hole Research Center. Bossi says it’s a great feeling to know that, “your town is actively trying to save planet earth.”
One of the central pieces on the album imagines the final dive of renowned free-diver Natalia Molchanova. It comes across as a seven-minute-long guided meditation.
“She went on a very casual, unplanned dive and never returned,” Kihlstedt explained. The piece features a Falmouth voice-actor and ethereal sounds that make it seem like you’re in the water.
Another piece is inspired by a friend of Kihlstedt and Bossi who works in ocean science and who was documenting trash that was found off the coast of Massachusetts.
Kihlstedt is hoping that people will come away from the album, "being more curious about their own relationship to the ocean.”
All of the proceeds from the purchase of the album on their bandcamp website on World Oceans Day (June 8, 2018) will be donated to ocean conservation research.
Matthias Bossi composed the theme song of Living Lab Radio.