Friday, June 2, 2017

Yosemite – A Symphony of the Senses




Walking through nature at Yosemite with an Imperceptivist digital camera is as expansive as listening to digital music on acoustic waveguide speakers.  The translation and compression of reality into a small box can feel as big as the universe.



That weekend vacation ten years ago, the day before I toppled into dawn at Napa Valley, I spent hiking the heights at Yosemite.  I can't help find parallels to emotive music.


The disquiet rhythms found in this park remind me of the galactic stretch I hear in Gustav's Planets--a diverse platitude of solar bright and deep space blacks, ranging from pianissimo, through fortepiano, to expressivo.


The valley and peaks, large as a 120 member symphony orchestra, with twisted trails and sloped sides flows into to bluesy rock, melodious marshes and charming creeks of country rhythms.  


Yosemite gives much to hungry minds and thirsty souls, with its grainy rifs that are spiced with detailed licks as if from a crisp but edgy electric guitar.   

The rugged cliffs and soft valley create a soundstage of multiple octaves, balanced with ambiance that presses one to see or hear a symphony of the senses.


Yosemite's medley is an atonal progression with harmonics above and below.  The elevated bravado of 5,000 foot high Half Dome leaves you both fractured and yet a whole note high in presence of its sharp grandeur.  


El Capitan likewise chest-puffs and stands woolly above the valley. 


The austere favorite of climbers gives an offbeat composition in rounded tops and rough scales between striped white and black granite crevices. 


As you descend into the valley, Sentinel Rock guards your diminuendo as a commanding, contemplative sentry. The depth is not fully appreciated until you listen to the soft reverberations below.


Likewise, the Cathedral Spires pierce your thoughts with an irregular stride that rushes you staccato toward the chilly insular Glacier Point.  Its steely form appears and disappears in transient, frostbitten notes scrolling you toward warmer measures.


The sibilance of the Bridalveil Falls strikes your ears, giving you a creative rush of exuberant ideas, not unlike those eureka moments in the shower you discover now and then.  


Then you ease along the reedy melody of the Bridalveil Creek, composing a polyphonic concert of trails adante, passaggio grasses and rollicking currents.


The ebb and flow of warm legato in the meadow is a bright, wistful interlude. The carefree, earthy grassland bows a dolce coda of solitude. 


Then a glissando valley sprawling with textures erupts into an a vast lush song.


Slowly you rise above, bridging intimate vocals from trees standing A Cappella on slopes, their towering solos and melodious brilliance pulling you back up.


An enharmonic duet presses marooned, pentatonically upwards to reach the summit.



Again standing crescendo atop the dome, conducting views actually heard as if from Holst's ghost, but which can never be truly revealed to anyone else through any human media. It is fermata.