pypkpk, title of composition steven berkowitz cd cover
L I G H T   P O O L S    
d e t a i l s


L I G H T   P O O L S
©2007 Steven Berkowitz / Fluid Musix RLB10702 (format: CD-R)

Classic Ambient/ Organic/ Fluid Music
derived from pools of light on the ground
at Buddhist Temples in Japan

Perfect for relaxation, contemplation or inspiration


When light passes through the leaves of trees, the spaces between the leaves focus the sunlight into what are called ‘Circles of Confusion’. In Japan, the Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines are usually surrounded by a canopy of tall trees. This produces circles of light that dance on the ground as the trees sway slowly in the breeze. Berkowitz has mapped these areas of ground by shooting sets of adjacent photographs. The result is a compound visual image that presents the placement of these ‘Light Pools’ in an elongated space.


These photographic maps are used to generate musical scores. The process is now known as Sonification. Basically, the positions of the Light Pools in physical space determine the placement of musical notes in harmonic space. The translation produces an acoustic image that is equivalent to the visual image. It is essentially the same image presented to two different human sensory organs simultaneously; the eyes and the ears. This inspires the audience to employ 'Compound Perception' to absorb all the stimulus. Synaesthesia can result, producing a hyper-aesthetic and euphoric experience.


Since the photographs are of organic material, the music is also organic. No notes begin or end at the same time, as is common in conventional music. [e.g. When a chord is played on a piano, all the notes all start and stop at the same time.] The tone clusters in this organic music are irregular and seemingly non-linear, not unlike the patterns of Fractal Geometry. This is the essence of 'Fluid Musix'.


Another aspect is the spaces between the notes that are part of the music, not pauses between sections. This is created by places in the photographs where no light is hitting the ground. This is an example of negative space asserting a force that manifests as the positive experience of silence rather than the emptiness of emptiness.


The large-scale photographic sets are installed in an art gallery. Each set has a 2.1 speaker system, and each plays its own piece of music as defined by the original organic source. This provides an enveloping multi-sensory environment for anyone who visits the gallery. The best way to experience this is to come to one of Berkowitz’s exhibitions. The next best would be to have 3 stereo systems in your room, but few people have this. This CD plays the composite sound from one installation. Because of the time limitations of the medium, it lasts for 1 hour.


Each photo set is a different size. Therefore, each sound piece is a different length. The music loops each time it ends. Each loop shifts the position of any musical score relative to the others. This generates a mix of notes that continually changes. The pieces are harmonically locked by the composer, producing one long musical experience that plays forever without repeating. This is called a Perpetual Intermix. Familiar note sequences repeatedly arise, however, and they stick in the listener’s mind. When people leave the exhibition, they are often humming some melody only they have heard.


The conceptual environment of the Light Pools music is Extended Time; the time between the ticks of the clock. Berkian music resides in extended time and creates a condition of listening that removes the listener from present time and place. This allows the imagination to move into new realms. The slow evolution of the composition invites the listener to pay even closer attention to the details, seducing them into a more intimate relationship with the music. This music links artist and audience, suspending them on a journey of shared emotions and source memories.


Lateral Imaging is a product of non-linear thinking. (Lateral being the inverse of Linear.) This provides a way of seeing the world that links our perception, conception and emotion. Lateral Imaging is a philosophy that views the world as a field of coincidental events, each affecting all others, everything connected in an intimate way. This view is supported by ancient Buddhist philosophies and the newest theories of Quantum Physics. The way all the Light Pools scores overlay and interact is a model of these points of view. This music requires the use of ‘Compound Perception’ to realize ‘Lateral Imaging’.


The bottom line of this and all of Berkowitz’s work is to show how we are totally integrated with our world, not standing outside looking in. The patterns of nature are the same as the patterns of life in general. The patterns of our intellect determine our view of the world, i.e. our world creates us so we can create our world. This unity is the essence of Lateral Imaging. All is one.