The Summerland Suite

March -- mp3, video and score
May -- mp3, video and score
June -- mp3, video and score
September -- mp3, video and score
October -- mp3, video and score
January -- mp3, video and score

This suite of short songs was composed to accompany a photography exhibit called Okanagan Abstracted – the music is another level of abstraction, layering interpretation over landscape and experience. Just as the exhibit’s photographs portray a unique view of the Okanagan Valley, the music takes an unconventional approach in reflecting the same place.

In Tim Burton’s classic animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, most of the action happens in Halloween Town and Christmas Land. In each place, inhabitants spend the entire year preparing for their respective Big Day. It’s compelling to imagine what the rest of the year is like in those places. Summerland has a similar dynamic – the Okanagan has always been all about summer in the public consciousness, with beaches and fruit trees as emblems of that brand. But what about the other 10 months of the year after the main event finishes and the tourists go home?

Each of this valley’s seasons has a vibe that lends itself to musical interpretation. Vivaldi locked up that approach with his famous Four Seasons, making any related attempt seem rather pretentious and cliché, but consider this a quirky, regional variation on the theme. I’ve chosen months to correspond with each of the songs in the suite, ignoring July and August, as they get enough attention here already.

My photographs often attempt to go beneath the surface, unearthing beauty where you might not expect it. Great photographs often let viewers assign meaning and value based on their own experiences. It may be the same with instrumental music – the lack of words creates space for listeners to experience and analyze on their own terms. If the titles and words and pictures don’t seem to match how you’re feeling when you hear these songs, please ignore them.

Creative Commons License
The Summerland Suite by Jeremy Hiebert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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