Just Before is a modern-day Amsterdam reflection on the poem, Just Before a Thunder Shower written by James Wright, an American poet from the Midwest, who was inspired by the Chinese poet Li Po. James Wright believed that the tenderness for places and living creatures in Chinese poetry could save us from the corruptions in modern day life. I too believe that the sensibilities we practice by taking time to listen and reflect keep us awake and make us wiser.
The original version of this piece, Just Before the Rain, was commissioned by the Scordatura Ensemble in 2017 as part of a collection of new pieces inspired by Harry Partch’s Li Po songs.
The electronic soundscape was created using the Kyma System and are variations of filtered noise and sine tones on pitches that wander in and out of a simple and gently modulating just intonation.