Alice Shields


White Heron Dance
White Heron Dance (2017) is a shamanic ritual in sound in which a human being experiences a moment of union with nature in the form of a Great White Heron. I created it from the cries of herons, hawks, eagles, songbirds and the human voice. I study Noh Theater with the Noh performer Mayo Miwa, who suggested the ancient Japanese Shinto ritual Sa-gi Mai upon which the piece is based. I recorded her singing the ritual song in the folk style used by the Shinto priests and in the elaborate Noh recitational style. In performance the piece includes video created for it by artist Tom Barratt. White Heron Dance was premiered at the National Opera Center in Manhattan in April, 2017, and performed at National Sawdust in Brooklyn as part of the NYC-Electroacoustic Music Festival on July 14, 2017 in a concert curated by the Association for the Promotion of New Music. In my recent computer music I use ProTools and GRM Tools plug-ins. Sometimes I create sounds from scratch with Csound, and often, as in this piece, I start with recorded samples of natural sounds. For the Great White Heron sounds, I have to thank the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for audio field recordings. For eagles, song thrushes, wing flaps and the like I thank All these individual collectors will be listed soon on my website
The Mud Oratorio - excerpt from a work for dance-theater (2003)
Komachi at Sekidera