Wayward in Limbo #86: Mark D. Cooper

Mark D. Cooper is MFA graduate in electronic music and recording media from Mills College. He is a member of the Seattle Phonographers Union, and the songwriting project Cooper-Wetstone.


A few years ago, I embarked on a project of organizing field recordings and sonic experiments loosely under the idea of the four “classical” elements: water, air, earth, and fire. The first two, H2O and AIR had their debut in the amazing Good Shepherd Chapel space. I had planned the third, Terra Cognita, to be a part of the Wayward Music series in the Chapel in November 2020. However, a certain virus, Covid 19, intervened as a “fifth” element. This had me thinking about that fifth element: aether, or what comes out of the unknown, invisible, inaudible. It is always there, in some form, speculated in modern physics as “axions.”

These recordings of quintessence as I know it include field recordings from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, U.S.A. and Cleland Wildlife Park, South Australia.

(00:00) Asteroid 1
(03:27) Exosphere
(09:37) Oort
(17:20) Axion
(26:38) Orbits
(32:16) Eridanus
(37:15) Asteroid 2

With the Chapel closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wayward Music Series moves from the concert hall to the living room. In place of our usual ten monthly concerts, Nonsequitur is commissioning ten Seattle artists each month to create a series of streaming audio sessions of previously unreleased material.