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.
This disc is titled Centre Bridge because it has inspired two of the works contained on it. But beyond this, it is because the role that the bridge has played in White's work is so characteristic of her music. Her music is about listening deeply: encountering sound in the world (especially the natural world) and immersing herself in it. From this experience, she develops an image from it through intuition. It is this image, drawn from experience, that she then brings out again into the world through her music. To engage her work is to take a walk with her through her inner and outer sense of sound.
Like the Lily utilizes quiet, indistinct, irregular pulsing electronic sounds, while the instrumentalists play simple overlapping extended tones over this delicate texture - using electronic sound to create a sonic space to hold the instrumental music.
In A veil barely seen the purling water is heard throughout, its natural pitches combined with White's imagined ones. The viola moves through this space as one stream flows into another, from bare outward sound to the various moods and tones of White's inner reflections.
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.
Reviews"[T]he works contained on CENTRE BRIDGE are delicate and rather beautiful." - The Wire (p.69)