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Evan Fowler



Ableton Live Suite 10
Skill Level:
1 In/2 Out
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This portrait based around the hymn tune Slane(1908) by Patrick Joyce. This tune was used for a setting of the text Bet Thou My Vision(1912) by Eleanor Hull.


The conception of Waitingcame as I sat in the waiting room after our second lost pregnancy and was fully realized following our third. The fixed media at the opening and closing of the work was recorded from a local Iowa City coffee shop and has been processed to create a more musical form of the chaos from the entry way.


The flugelhorn begins to play somewhat tentatively as we try to pass the time and come to grips with the news that could be coming our way. As the noodling continues, we begin to slip into some sort of trance.


When sitting and waiting for the chaos of the outside world and the thoughts inside ones’ head begin to merge before the internal monologue takes over. It’s amazing to me the way the human mind has the ability to zone out and block the external noise. As the external noise fades from the fixed media you first here evolving synth pads followed by the sound of a drum, meant to invoke a beating heart.


In these times when we are preparing for the worst, spirituality can be a great comfort for some. The hymn melody is the manifestation of this spiritual comfort. The opening line of Hull’s Text, “Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;” is an idea that permeated my childhood having a parent with a terminal illness. The hymn, and its concept of accepting that things are out of your hands can be a powerful idea. In my experience that initial acceptance turns more towards denial, which this piece represents.


More flugelhorn scales and noodling fill in the next section where most of the synthesizer and the heat beat fades away. This symbolizes a nearly dream like state where the outside world has completely faded from your mind. Then the news you’ve been waiting on comes. It comes fast, it’s bad, and it pulls you out of the day dream and back to the chaos of the real world.


The hymn played back with its original processing in reverse represents what we go through as our mind attempts to cope with bad news about a loved one and the original tranquility of the inner mind is replaced with chaos before that eventually clears and the sounds of the outside world come back. Leaving us confused and without comfort in a return to the outside world.

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