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Mode 184: Frances White | Centre Bridge (Dark River)

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Published on May 2, 2011

Pauline Kim, violin; Airi Yoshioka, violin; David Cerutti, viola; Susannah Chapman, cello; Troy Rinker Jr., double bass; Paul Hostetter, conductor

Much of Frances White's music is inspired by her love of nature, and her electronic works frequently include natural sound recorded near her home in central New Jersey.

This is the first complete disc of White's electro-acoustic works, both with or without instruments.

Centre Bridge is one of several bridges crossing the Delaware River, connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is a nondescript bridge, not particularly attractive, nor does it have a grand history. What Centre Bridge does have is a beautiful voice. The roadway on the bridge consists of a metal grating, and the cars passing over this create low drones, their tones shifting as they speed up and slow down. While on vacation some years ago, Frances White walked across Centre Bridge and discovered the music of the bridge, and it opened up a whole world for her.

Centre Bridge (dark river) uses the Delaware River as a backdrop; the pitch bends and transitions of the low strings are simple transcriptions of the sounds of actual traffic on the bridge: "The bridge transforms the sound of traffic into a kind of music," says White, "into something beautiful."

Liner notes by James Pritchett.

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