Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WDBX 91.1 FM plays Sensitive Chaos Emerging Transparency on Music From Beyond the Lakes

WDBX 91.1 FM in Carbondale, IL, played tracks from the Sensitive Chaos Emerging Transparency CD, "Emerging Transparency" and "Fifty Light Years From Home," on the May 3, 2009 Music From Beyond the Lakes program:

Music from Beyond the Lakes

Produced by Jerry Nelms, Namdar Mogharreban, Anil Mehta, and Brian Kearney
Sundays, 8-10 pm Central Time, USA
WDBX, 91.1 FM, Carbondale, Illinois (

Streamed LIVE at

This program featured music by Kevin Kendle; Rudy Adrian; Deuter; Michelle Ippolito; Timothy Cooper; Ludovico Einaudi; Fiona Joy Hawkins; David Mauk; Sensitive Chaos; John Foxx & Harold Budd; Lis Addison; and Chris Conway & Llewellyn.

May 3, 2009
“Wind Shrines” (produced by Jerry Nelms)

An old Chinese proverb goes something like this: “Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind.” That is, a little effort can produce a lot of result. And this is especially true of wind.

At one time, of course, we humans relied on naturally produced energy from the basic elements of our planet: wind, running water, sunlight, and geothermal heating in the earth. We seem finally to be returning to that mindset. Driving up to visit our younger son at college in Wisconsin, my wife and I pass the Mendota Hills Wind Farm along Interstate 39 here in Illinois: row on row of tall, sleek turbines, shiny metallic windmills, their long blades sublimely reaching out to the sky and then pointing to the ground.

Mendota Hills is just one wind farm, as they’ve come to be called. The first of our wind turbines here in the U.S. were actually remodeled local farm windmills. It was not until after the oil shortages in the 1970s that large-scale production of wind turbines for electricity generation began. Now that we face the future threat of global warming, governments worldwide are increasingly turning to wind and sun power. Depending on the size and number of turbines in use, it’s possible for a wind farm to supply electricity for 100,000 businesses and residences. And the upper Midwest seems like a perfect location for these farms. We may recall the light caress of ocean breezes, but they are nothing like the stern, determined blasts of the midwestern plains. Just think of the winds along the slopes near Winner, South Dakota. National Public Radio just did a story on the winds in that area, which are perfect for producing electricity. As Elizabeth Shogun reported, these winds can be “bone-chilling. Even on an early spring day,” she says, “it feels like it’s in the low teens.”

The earliest windmills were built in Persia, primarily used to grind grain. In America, local windmills have been used by farmers and small co-ops for over a century to generate electricity. Today, some 55% of electricity in Europe is generated using wind energy. 3% of electricity in India comes from wind. Worldwide wind generation quadrupled between 2000 and 2006 and appears to be doubling every three years or so.

The problem, then, is not with the sustainable resources themselves. We have lots of wind and plenty of sun, running water, and geothermal heating. The problems involve producing—and improving—the technology for efficiently generating power from these sources—and, of course, improving our energy grid—that is, getting the power where it needs to go.

And there have been other criticisms of wind farms. As panoramic as a wind farm can seem to the casual passerby, for those having to live near them they can become an “eyesore.” I’d bet, though, that if we set our artists to improving the beauty of wind turbines, we could make wind farms works of art as well as of energy.

Some criticisms of wind energy production, however, are simply inaccurate. Some claim that wind energy is too expensive. In fact, most experts today indicate that the cost of large-scale wind energy production would be less than the cost of using non-renewable fossil fuels. Some argue that wind is unreliable, too variable. While it is true that we can’t control the wind and so the amount of wind generation can vary at times, the winds in those areas considered ideal for wind farms blow pretty consistently. Moreover, wind energy technology has improved tremendously over the last thirty years and is expected to continue to improve.

In his 1843 essay “Paradise (to be) Regained,” Henry David Thoreau noted that wind is “constantly exerted over the globe.” He went on, “Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it! It only serves to turn a few mills, blow a few vessels across the ocean, and a few trivial ends besides. What a poor compliment do we pay to our indefatigable and energetic servant!”

In his 1860 lecture, “Discoveries and Inventions,” Abraham Lincoln added, “Of all the forces of nature, I should think the wind contains the largest amount of . . . power to move things . . . . As yet, [however,] the wind is an untamed and unharnessed force . . . .”

It’s hard to imagine us ever really “harnessing” the wind, and winds will always change, but change, of course, is always with us, no matter what we do—no matter what our source of energy—and, as poet Christina Rossetti once wrote, “Neither you nor I [have seen the wind], but when the trees bow down their heads, [we know] the wind is passing by.” Bowing to the power of the wind, we seek not to control it but to allow it to control us and in so doing, to serve our interests, as well as its own. In a sense, our human windmills—even these sleek new turbines—are but modern shrines to the uncontrollable but potentially productive force of the wind.

And so, this evening, let’s reflect on the power of the wind and our new wind energy technologies through a program of acoustic and electronic music entitled “Wind Shrines.” We begin with these warm, windswept textures by Kevin Kendle from Pure Dreaming. Later, we’ll hear two airy desert soundscapes by Rudy Adrian from Desert Realms; graceful, Asian-influenced music by Deuter from Spiritual Healing; more tranquil, Asian-flavored ambience by Michelle Ippolito from In the Clouds; the short, delicate title track to Timothy Cooper’s East Wind; a somewhat dramatic tribute to Spring by Ludovico Einaudi from his Live in Berlin collection; a short piano piece by Fiona Joy Hawkins from Blue Dream; and another airy track from Michelle Ippolito’s In the Clouds.

We’re contemplating and, you might say, exalting the wind on our program tonight, especially its potential as an energy resource and the new technologies at work to generate that energy, the new wind turbines that go to make up our new wind farms, “Wind Shrines,” if you will, symbols of our reverence for a force always with us and always moving us Beyond the Lakes.

Kevin Kendle – Pure Dreaming – New World Music – 2001
Rudy Adrian – Desert Realms – Lotuspike – 2008
“Desert Realms”
“Of Clouds and Mountains”

Deuter – Spiritual Healing – New Earth Records – 2008
“Wind in Bamboo”
Michelle Ippolito – In the Clouds – Penrose Records – 2009
“Celestial Voices”
Timothy Cooper – East Wind – New Piano Age Music – 2008
“East Wind
Ludovico Einaudi – Live in Berlin – Poderosa Music and Art/Klassik Radio
Records – 2007
Fiona Joy Hawkins – Blue Dream – Little Hartley Music – 2008
Michelle Ippolito – In the Clouds – Penrose Records – 2009

We’re contemplating the power of the wind on our program tonight, including its potential as an energy resource and the new technologies at work to generate that energy. We begin our second hour with music that is simultaneously breezy and pensive by David Mauk from 12 Months. We’ll continue, after this, with two tracks of enigmatic ambience turned electronica by synthesist/percussionist Jim Combs (aka Sensitive Chaos) from Emerging Transparency; and then a short windswept soundscape by John Foxx & Harold Budd from their double-CD collaboration Translucence + Drift Music. In our final half-hour, we’ll hear taught, introspective ambience from vocalist/keyboardist Lis Addison’s The Song of the Tree; a final atmospheric track from Michelle Ippolito’s In the Clouds; and airy, Celtic-influenced ambience by Chris Conway & Llewellyn from Celtic Reiki.

“Wind Shrines,” tonight on Music from Beyond the Lakes.

David Mauk – 12 Months – Thera Records – 2008
“June (breeze)”
Sensitive Chaos – Emerging Transparency – Subsequent Records – 2009
“Emerging Transparency”
“Fifty Years from Home”

John Foxx & Harold Budd – Translucence + Drift Music – Metamatic Records –
“Weather Patterns”

Lis Addison – The Song of the Tree – All Aglow Music – 2008
“Indigo Dragonfly”
Michelle Ippolito – In the Clouds – Penrose Records – 2009
Chris Conway & Llewellyn – Celtic Reiki – Paradise Music – 2008
“The Wind of Enlightenment – Air”

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