Tanpura (Racheal Cogan 2014)

Paetzold Contrabass (by Herbert Paetzold), Kung Bass Recorder (designed and built by Geri Bollinger), Ganassi in G and C ( by Michael Grinter), Futujara ( by Vladiswar Nadishana),

Bells, Gongs, Skiddaw Stones, Tubular Bells (from soniccouture).

I have always loved the resonance of the tanpura and jealously adored the overlapping resonance of this plucked string, drone type instrument.

I was aiming for the same feeling of resonance and notes overlapping on recorders - like a large organ, but with the sounds coming from different places and each with their own unique tone, length, and shape from the minds of each individual player.

With that in mind,  I began shaping this meditative piece with each note played into a different track, overlapping the one before to create long phrases made up of different players working together to make a cohesive, integrated whole. Even though it's just myself playing each track, as I created this piece I envisioned many players coming together to make up a moment of resonant space and sound. As I worked, this music felt to me like a form of falling deeper and deeper into an ocean.

Listen with a good set of headphones in a quiet space.

The image is a painting from a very dear friend who is an incredible and dedicated artist - Mitch Lang. I have adored both her and her art for at least 25 years now. The world is a richer and more generous place for her being in it.

Australian Waters by Mitch Lang
Australian Waters by Mitch Lang

 Mitch's image is both a reflection on living by the sea and the current Australian Government's long term and increasingly callous and inhumane treatment of refugees seeking asylum by boat in Australia.

Thank you to Violaine Corradi for always encouraging me to go yet further and to Andrew for always listening.

Two Geese

Photo taken in Banff.

Photo taken in Banff.

This music is beautiful. Tony Lewis has done a superb job mixing this piece and breathing life into the tangled spaghetti I had made creating and recording the recorder parts. He also created and played the perfect and intricate percussion parts that are as much a part of this composition as my original work on recorders.

Sit down quietly with some great speakers and enjoy. I have been.

I have no words able to express how grateful I am to have this time to be working on creative projects again and with such amazing people like Tony, who has given so much time, energy and knowledge to this small piece.

Music by Racheal Cogan and Tony Lewis. Mixing by Tony Lewis, David Hackett, and Dane Charles; MMCCS Studio 1, Macquarie University. Instruments: Tony Lewis - tombak, bass drum, tambourine, handclaps, cymbal and finger cymbal. Racheal Cogan - Paetzold Contra Bass recorder, Bass recorder (Kung), Tenor recorder Takeyama), treble recorder (Michael Grinter), Ganassi in C (Michael Grinter).


Two Geese began in my tiny, but quiet living space with a stunning mountain vista. The snow was beginning to melt and I had no idea that my quiet-ish haven was about to be suddenly transformed by an impressive gaggle of geese returning to their summer quarters. They settled directly outside my window (for months): feasting on the fresh shoots of grass in the newly exposed earth, fluffy goslings in tow and generally making a louder noise than I ever thought possible. Recording was a frustrating exercise - but somehow I found quieter moments and they became the foundation for this short piece. It was named for a couple flying on an unexpectedly quiet day that I managed to do most of the recording in. It was lovely to see them, but I was also afraid that they just might have been the harbinger of the entire skein of geese returning to their home, and that my recording time was about to be cut once again by their raucous honking.