Music by Aaron Otheim
Started during the early season fires of 2017 in British Columbia, written that burning year, and finished as the Camp Fire obliterated Paradise, California, the poems and music of Woodland blaze with anger. Broken and obsessive, lathing logging terminology and archaisms, the poems ricochet around the new reality of endless fires as the Climate Catastrophe unfolds and “lover & spruce/ rise up the mountain/ contorted/ for cooling/ air—”.
The book includes a new “score” by keyboardist Aaron Otheim. Burning the 19th-century parlor music of Edward MacDowell’s Woodland Sketches, Otheim fractures the recognizable melodies of this arch-romantic work with both studio and post-recording manipulation to create a startling and darkly timbred composition.
Woodland presents two West Coast artists grappling with their personal complicity, “It’s who we are/ loose// ( & with matches,” and the larger societal structures profiting off the unraveling. It is both an indictment of and testimony to the coming disaster.