My soundwalk takes listeners down the path of memories, a descent mirrored by Nichols Arboretum. An intimidating cliff face; a stone bench for introspection; a slippery inclined passage; the river’s edge—here it’s easier to summon the past. I focused on extremes of childhood: sorrow and joy, victory and loss. I wove in books. “So Jimmy began to run…” comes as a whisper, wrapped in footsteps and forest noise; it evokes not only frustration and helplessness in Harrison’s The Boy Who Ran to the Woods, but also movement that carries forward into de Angeli’s Copper-Toed Boots. These lines, alongside my attempts at making music, suggest that an event need not be “important” to stay with a developing mind.
The conclusion serves as a reminder that just as traversing the Arb’s steep courses can be dangerous, so too are the mind’s deepest reaches. “You killed my uncle Jim, didn’t you?” Jessie says accusingly in Smucker’s To Keep the South Manitou Light–only to discover later that she herself is the one responsible. Some events rest on the boundary between hope and despair. Some things are best left forgotten. But even so, a lingering voice cannot be ignored… What have you forgotten?