from: "Local, Late-Breaking" (4/2/05)
Here/There/Now/Then (6/17/05)

Notes for the work, Water Above, by Rusty Banks
(comments by Rusty Banks)


Water Above (Cahaba River: May 2004)

Commissioned by the Music Teachers National Convention and the Alabama Music Teachers Association

Water Above was commissioned by the Music Teachers National Convention and the Alabama Music Teachers Association. It was presented at the 2004 Alabama State Conference. Originally, cello played where bassoon does now. The samples in the electronic parts were recorded on Alabama's last free-flowing river, the Cahaba River. I spent two days on the Cahaba canoeing and camping with my father, who I should mentioned, sponsored my travels. The Cahaba is one of the most biologically diverse streams outside of the tropics. There are more species of fish in the Cahaba than in the whole state of California. Many species are endemic. I caught two Alabama spotted bass that I can be sure come from genetic stocks that easily pre-date european intrusion. The sounds I collected however, could have been collected anywhere nearly. The listener may hear barred owls, and will definitely hear bullfrog screams.

Having done this, I can easily say that if anyone else offers me a grant to canoe, camp, fish, and gather samples on which to base a piece, I will gladly accept. Anyone care to have Verdigree Creek near Royal, NE immortalized? Anyone?