April 11, 1991
Song of Oceans


The tides come in
The tides go out
Awakening measured in waves
Under the patient moon

Tides is one of the oldest surviving recordings in my portfolio and one that I have revisited many times to experiment with ideas and new techniques. The music was inspired by my first visit to the Atlantic in 1985 and the (since lost) video sculpture the Caribbean in 1989.  It spans a period of joy and grief and a cataclysmic change in not only in my life but my perspective.  Although not a mature piece by any stretch it remains a touchstone for my understanding of  self and impermanence manifested in the arising and passing of causes and conditions.


Keyboards: Tony
Guitar: Dale Marsh

Tides was recorded using a four-track cassette recorder, a Roland Juno keyboard and acoustic guitar played by Dale Marsh.  Dale was the teaching assistant in my expanded arts (what we called multi-media in ye olden days) class and I was told many years later he had passed.  In 2020 I transferred an old cassette recording of Tides and have restored it as best I could and dedicate it to his memory.

The recording of Tides was used as background for a video sculpture featuring footage shot on a sailboat in Key West, Florida.  Designed as a meditative piece, the sculpture used a wood frame which was painted black holding three televisions in a vertical stack.  Three unique (VHS) video feeds were manually synced with the soundtrack that were comprised of oceanic and atmospheric images.

Tides 1990 Design


The virtual sculpture for Tides was first constructed in Second Life using UV wraps called ‘sculpties’ created by Elout de Kok.  These were combined with texture animation and simple revolver scripts.  Like the material version of the work I wanted to create meditative piece that captured the gestalt of the ocean experience.  This is the first time I used a painted image as the basis of a virtual work although in this instance the painting, Nauset, has no relationship to the original work.


In 2020 I began the Avativa project, a virtual landscape shaped by my music and painting, where the sculpture is housed in a replica of my first virtual architecture.  In addition I remastered the Tides soundtrack from 1991 to stream as part of the virtual installation.


“Knowing this body is like foam,
Fully awake to its mirage-like nature,
Cutting off Māra’s flowers,
One goes unseen by the King of Death.”

Excerpt From The Dhammapada
Translation by
Gil Fronsdal

With a nod to my studies of impermanence, causes and conditions, and the intangible nature of self I again revisit Tides in the form of video; joining the forms of music, painting and virtual recordings.  I seems to me now that Tides was created out of grief and loss and the unconscious need to move through it and away from it.  As with most of my work now I contemplate Tides through the lens of Dhamma and teachings it provides.

more from this collection

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