Rainforest Images I: Track 5. Composed by Barton & Priscilla McLean

Barton McLean

About this work:

Incorporating digitally processed live performance on voices, violins, wooden recorders, and clariflute (clarinet mouthpiece, recorder body), with nature sounds and electronics. Copyright c 1993 Barton & Priscilla McLean (BMI), recorded at Canberra School of Music and Art, Australia, Paneotis' studio, Kingston, NY, and McLeans' studio, Petersburgh, NY. Performers: Priscilla McLean: voice, recorder, violin; Barton McLean: recorder, clariflute: Paneotis: voice, Brendan Dickie: didgeridoo; Ivana Troselj and Kerrie Ryan: voices. Notes on RAINFOREST IMAGES by The McLean Mix "Olelbis, the creator, built a great and awesome sweathouse, its middle support being a huge young white oak, with various kinds of oak trees being side supports, various flowering plants serving as binding and as sides. Then the house began to extend and grow wider and higher, and it became wonderful in size and in splendor....It stood there in the morning dawn, a mountain of beautiful flowers and oak tree branches; all colors of the world were on it..." So begins the ancient creation myth of the Wintu Native Americans, which became the focal text for this unique collaboration celebrating the spirit of the rainforest. We began this project as an installation in 1989, premiering at the University of Wyoming, involving walk-in performance by the audience at any of our five music stations, using synthesizers, amplified bicycle wheel, and microphones, plus the evocative drones and rainforest sounds on our composed tape. After dozens of installations and our Australian-New Zealand-Hawaii tour in 1990, we began thinking of an actual composition involving voices from around the world raised in song to the beauty of the rainforest. This work is a true mixture of many styles, evoking the inner feeling one has when walking through a rainforest, yet is a unified musical sound-world on its own. After choosing the different taped improvisations, we recorded and integrated them with sampled and synthesized music on the StudioVision sequencer. Each of us would compose a section of the piece for a few days, then turn the reins over to the other, working seven days a week for six months. This may be the first example in history of a true integrated composition by husband and wife working together! "RAINFOREST" divides loosely into four "movements", although the work is continuous. "Movement" One (sections 1,2,3) introduces the rainforest ambiance through taped Peruvian and Australian bird calls over a steady drone, with string tremolos performed by Barton McLean on the violin. Sections 2-3 introduce the myth, chanted by Priscilla McLean, mixed with music by Australians Kerrie Ryan and Ivana Troselj, voices, and Brendan Dickie on the didgeridoo, a large hollowed-out log with beeswax mouthpiece, made by the Aborigines. "Movement" Two (sections 4-5) is primal and rawly rhythmic, after a meditative bird and violin transition section, improvised by Bart McLean on the soprano recorder with sampled percussion. "Movement" Three (sections 6-7) begins with a soliloquy played by a hybrid instrument used often in McLean Mix performances, a clariflute (clarinet mouthpiece on a recorder body), improvised by Barton McLean. Section 7 is the longest and most rhythmic and wild vocal/didgeridoo section, by the three Australians, and contains the other chanted message of the piece, created by Ivana Troselj, spun in and out of focus: "Talk, words, sounds. Words, sounds, talk, movement. Words, words from afar, sounds that reach your ears... input from those who don't necessarily want to hear, they say words all the time. People don't want to know what is happening to them (to the earth). They want to listen only to themselves. But sometimes they must listen to others. (They can't remain isolated in their towers of glass and steel, and push their pencils across the table ...) They have to change their words..." "Movement" Four (sections 8-9) begins with a medley of ethereal bird songs, continuing with an interlude of plaintive and poignant calls perform-ed by Priscilla McLean on the recorder, and Bart McLean on the clariflute. "Movement" Five brings back the Wintu myth and closes with singing by Priscilla McLean and chants by Panaiotis, vocalist and sound technician, whose voice has been heard throughout the piece in disguised drones.


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Although we, Barton & Priscilla McLean, McLean, hold the copyright, we nontheless hereby gladly authorize anyone to make copies and perform the work for noncommercial and/or educational purposes providing that our names are reasonably displayed as the composers.  We do not under any circumstances authorize selecting portions of the work to appear intact in another person's composition, or to appear under any other composer's name, without our written signed authorization.

Regarding the audio file accompanying this work:  we, Barton and Priscilla McLean own the copyright to the composition itself.  Being aware that this work has been released on a commercial CD, and that the CD company might possess the copyright to that particular sound recording of the composition, we nonetheless claim copyright to this specific sound recording posted here, because it is not the exact recording released on CD.  Rather, it is another mix down and revision of that work which may approximate the commercial CD in most respects but nevertheless is a distinct sound recording of which we claim the copyright.


Version: C & P 1993 Barton & Priscilla McLean
Year composed: 1993
Duration: 00:09:08
Ensemble type: Electronic Instruments and Sound Sources:Prerecorded Sound
Instrumentation: 1 Computer/Laptop, 1 Synthesizer, 1 Other Wind Instrument(s), 4 Other Voice, 1 Unspecified Instrument(s)

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