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Days and Nature – Kate Moore

The machine

When I was writing the piece my studio was next to a guitar maker’s workshop. Everyday at a certain time, the wood for the instruments would be cut by an electric saw and the sound of this machine entered the sound world of my piece. I added a machine to my piece to capture my experience of the sound of the saw fiercely intruding the organic world of the composition. However I couldn’t find the perfect machine for the piece and began to fear I would have to leave it out but by coincidence, a few weeks ago, the artist Peter van Loon introduced himself to me. He makes mechanical music machines that look like nothing you’ve seen before. I took this as a sign and invited him to provide one of his music machines to be the machine I was looking for in my piece. The sound of the sculpture fit perfectly with the array of engine springs in the percussion sections where the mechanised steel takes on a life of its own.

The meaning of the machine in Days and Nature

The piece suggests a slow and gradual evolution from wilderness to mechanised industry. When living close to nature it becomes apparent that a living ecosystem is itself a finely tuned machine where every plant and animal is a vital part keeping it running. The machine is a metaphor for the fragility of nature: a fine balance teetering on the edge of destruction.

Machines, including the sound of them, are always in our life. They are so much a part of our soundscape it is sometimes easy to forget they are there at all. It is not until venturing out into the wilderness that we finally remember. Even escaping to the remotest forest, machines are never far away. I have often had the experience of tunnelling deep into the bush to sit very still, if only for a moment, to listen to the sound of nature. In almost every occasion the crackling of dew on the leaves and the burrowing of a distant snake or cry of a bird is invariably interrupted by the distant sound of a car, plane or electric saw. The

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sound of these mechanisms are so prominent that even when you can see a tiny car on the horizon where a road trails into the distance, the sound of the car carries much further, interrupting the peace like a rude awakening.

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The Machine - Kate Moore  

Beschrijving Kate Moore over 'the machine'

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