Canções Profundas (Deep Songs) is an evening-length work by Seattle composer Steve Peters. Inspired by research into his family history in the Azores, a chain of nine volcanic islands in the mid-Atlantic, this evocative sonic poem explores themes of migration, diaspora, memory, identity and emotional/cultural ties to place. (See project blog for more info.)
Combining elements of narrative, documentary, and folk and experimental music, Canções Profundas (Deep Songs) is a vivid multi-layered mix of environmental sounds and music Peters collected in the Azores and in California, tracing the journey of his Portuguese immigrant ancestors. Beginning with the primal sounds of simmering geothermal pits and ocean waves gurgling in lava tubes, the piece spans the natural world of animals, the human world of agriculture, religious ceremonies, and community celebrations, following whales across the deep ocean to a distant land where the culture takes root and tenaciously survives, finally ending in the cemetery where Peters’ great-great grandparents are buried. A small ensemble of musicians modeled on Azorean brass bands surrounds the audience, improvising in response to the field recordings, and on traditional folk tunes.
Greg Campbell, percussion; Jesse Canterbury, clarinets; Lesli Dalaba, trumpet; Amy Denio, clarinet & saxophone; Steve Peters, saxophone; Christian Pincock, trombone. With recorded contributions by Joshua Parmenter, additional electronic processing; and Rafael Carvalho, viola da terra.