Buried deep within our personal and collective memories are a myriad of voices that echo forward in time. If these mysteries could be unlocked, the endless layers of accumulated sorrow and harmony pealed away, what images would be uncovered, what voices heard? Ocean of Ages Revealed evokes an aural landscape based on a visual image created by Susan Griffin in her book Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. Travelling into the darkness of a cave, faint images of another time appear, etched onto the walls. As the layers of mystery are gradually peeled away, the images become more visible, more clearly defined. The past and the forgotten, the secret and buried, is uncovered.
Ocean of Ages Revealed uses primarily vocal music from the Balkan regions sung by Brenna MacCrimmon and Jayne Brown, specifically recorded as source material for this composition. The ancient music from the Balkans tells of the joy and pain in woman’s life experience and has survived as a strong reminder of woman’s oral history. Through the technological means of granular synthesis, these sounds become expanded and stretched into an all encompassing soundscape which glimmers with the strength, struggle and vitality of our neglected and forgotten heritage. Other source material used in the composition includes the voice of Paul Dutton, the Staro Selo ensemble performing instrumental music from the Baltic regions, the Bulgarian gaida played by Nick Ouroumis, as well as material generated through FM synthesis.
Ocean of Ages Revealed was realized at the studio of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby (BC) with the PODX granular synthesis system designed by Barry Truax. The piece was finished at both the studio of the Music Gallery in Toronto, and in the studio of composer Randall Smith in Toronto. Ocean of Ages Revealed was commissioned by David Olds for Transfigured Night on CKLN FM radio in Toronto with support from the Ontario Arts Council and premiered on January 28, 1991.