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Greetings encore, diverse divers and lovers of dives.

It was a thrill to send the last missive off, and it's been an even greater thrill to have so many amazingly cool responses from friends far and near, and new and old. Honoured indeed to have such great folks having a listen!

But the story's just begun!

In this email I'll present three more works: The Pastry Shop, Lighea's Lovers, and Bar Hades.

* A note of clarification. These pieces of music that I'm presenting are rough drafts which will go into the creating of a CD to be completed somewhere between September and December 2014. The music was written for the sonic theatre/opera work, 'DIVE'.

Previous Emails

A Call to DIVE Pt 1
Prelude & The Pearls


1. Prelude & The Pearls

2. The Pastry Shop

3. Lighea's Lovers

4. Bar Hades

The Story

In the first DIVE email we met the young Sicilian journalist, Paulo. Having lost his first lover after she discovers a letter from his other lover (The Pearls) he goes to a pastry shop where he is served by an old crone of a waitress (another guise of the mermaid) who informs him that he has been dropped by his other lover as well.

Humiliated and broken-hearted(ish), Paulo decides to "abandon the world and its pomps for a while." He finds a seedy café and begins spending all his free time there, "a kind of Hades peopled by bloodless shades... A most proper Limbo."

In Richard Sanger's libretto Paulo first encounters an alluring and dismissive waitress who appears to be going through accounts at the bar. As you will learn from the track following, Lighea's Lovers, these are not accounts, and this is not a waitress.

It is at this point that Paulo encounters, hidden in the dank recesses of the dive, the odd and ambiguous phantom of Senator Rosario La Ciura, smoking Tuscan cheroots and spitting a great deal... "the most illustious Hellenist of our time."

Giuseppe de Lampedusa

Giuseppe de Lampedusa

The Music

The Pastry Shop

The Pastry Shop

Click here to listen

Voice - Fides Krucker
Acoustic Bass - Rob Clutton
Piano - Neil Gardiner
Vibes - Rick Sacks

Composition - Nik Beeson
Libretto - Richard Sanger

Recorded at ArrayMusic Studio
Recording Engineer - Rick Sacks

The Pastry Shop

Brioches, palm-leaves, cannoli,
Cream puffs, pannetoni,
éclairs, savoiardi, tiramisu.
Have a seat.  Look at you,
Sailing in here,
So handsome, so smooth…
What will you have?
Oh, you’re waiting for someone.
Let’s see: I have a message for you.

- Richard Sanger

DIVE at Array - whole crew
The DIVE ensemble at Array Music Studio
L to R: Fides Krucker, Neil Gardiner, Rob Clutton, Rick Sacks

Fides Krucker + Neil Gardiner
Fides Krucker & Neil Gardiner

Lighea's Lovers

Click here to listen.

Voice - Fides Krucker
Acoustic Bass - Rob Clutton
Vibes - Rick Sacks
Sailor's Chorus - Stephen Goring, Anthony Smith, Neil Gardiner, Alex Follis, Nik Beeson

Composition - Nik Beeson
Libretto - Richard Sanger
Text for 'Sailor's Chorus' adapted by Nik Beeson.

Recorded at ArrayMusic Studio
Recording Engineer - Rick Sacks

Sailor's Chorus recorded at Davey Jones' Locker
Recording Engineer - Nik Beeson

Lighea's Lovers

Odiseo d’Itaca, 3200; Eric il Rosso, 687; Lief il Affortunato, 740; Baba Oruj, 1470; Giovanni Caboto, 1480; Cristoforo Colombo, 1492; Fernando Magallanes, 1520; Giacomo Cook, 1730; Enrico Hudson, 1680; Giovanni Franklin, 1820

- Richard Sanger

Sailor's Chorus

Fishermen, sailors
Curly-haired Greeks;
Seamen, Spice merchants,
Admirals of the fleet.
Oarsmen, pirates,
buccaneers, galley slaves,
on the rocks, in the waves,
diving down down down
down down down,
into the wine dark sea.

- Richard Sanger's lyrics, adapted by Nik Beeson

Fides Krucker

Fides Krucker

Rob Clutton

Rob Clutton

Rick Sacks

Rick Sacks

Bar Hades

The Pastry Shop

Click here to listen

Cloud Chamber Bowls performance & sequencing - Nik Beeson

Bar Hades is a composition for Cloud Chamber Bowls, with a great recording of Humpback whales and the innards of a creaking ship as backdrop.

I first came across the sound of the Cloud Chamber Bowls listening to 'Weird Nightmare: Meditations on Mingus'; Hal Wilner's wild and wooly and inspired ode to the great Charles Mingus (featuring readings of Mingus' poetry by Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Robbie Robertson, Chuck D. and many others). Scattered throughout were the sounds of these extremely haunting 'Cloud Chamber Bowls' created by brilliant American maverick composer/Seussian instrument designer/hobo Harry Partch. As soon as I became engaged in DIVE I knew I had to find a way to use them.

I had heard samples from the 'Music Mavericks' website, but these were low quality mp3s. Then I discovered a very unusual exotic software instrument designer called 'Sonic Couture' who had a set of Cloud Chamber Bowls in their extraordinary Glassworks Library. At about the same time my friend Bruno Degazio told me that the co-director of Sonic Couture, Dan Powell, lived right here in Toronto. To make a long story short, not only do I have the pleasure of the Glassworks library, I now also have the set of actual Cloud Chamber Bowls that Dan built from scratch to emulate Partch's original instruments (the Partch Foundation will not allow sampling of these instruments).

Yowza! Thanks Dan!

Harry Partch

Harry Partch playing the Cloud Chamber Bowls

"I am not an instrument-maker,
but a philosophical music-man seduced into carpentry
- Harry Partch

What the tracks still need

Pastry Shop needs a good mastering. Minor tweaks...

I was pretty sloppy in my guidance of the 'Sailor's Chorus' in Lighea's Lovers so, while we had a ton of great rambunctious energy (and a great time!), the timing/phrasing's a little off. So much for my debut as a choral conductor! I'd like to brew up another feast of Sicilian seafood, plonk a few more bottles of dark red wine on the table, and get the gang back in, plus maybe a couple more sealubbers. Word has it that the siren herself might help conduct the crew. I'll be lashed to the mast!

Bar Hades needs some real TLC given to the long tones of the bowls. Possibly slow it all down a little? Also, some careful attention given to when, and how much, the background tracks of whales and creaks are interceding into the ambience.

Suggestions welcome!


In my last missive I introduced some questions which have somewhat beleaguered me since beginning to work on the project. "Is fascism a polarity to the wild? Or is the tension between the two more complex? What do we mean by 'fascism'? And what do we mean by 'the wild'? And how does the divine feminine figure into this potent brew?

Fascism is used today to describe behaviours which are anti-democratic, authoritarian, elitist and exclusivist, morally repressive, intolerant, and militant. Totalitarianism's ultimate goal is to turn citizen's into 'nobodys: a powerless, alienated, isolated mass with no feelings of agency, hence no feeling of responsibility. It's goal is dehumanisation, a machination of the masses, achieved through organized disenfranchisement and aggression.

In my next missive I'll go wild...

Thoughts, ideas, suggestions on the music, on the story, on spreading the word, on my sanity?
I'd love to hear from you!


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"Utram bibis, aquam an undam?" - 'Which are you drinking, the water or the wave?'
-- John Fowles, The Magus


Ontario Arts Council