Still Creek Soundwalk

Still Creek Soundwalk

A Walk In the Woods

There’s nothing dramatic about the Still Creek trail. It’s basically an easy-breezy trail that heads out over a ridgeline saddle from a campground set among old-growth Douglas-fir trees and a creek in the foothills of Mount Hood. Just a walk in the woods.

The most dramatic part is the beginning. Winding through the stout tree pillars, we cross the surging Camp Creek. Hence, our walk begins with a piano and woodwind fanfare.

For the instrument palette I’m embracing solo clarinet and solo flute again after a years-long absence. Also glass marimba. As a performer my keyboarding style has always been loose, but on the glass marimba I go for an almost arhythmic, tumbledown effect, mirroring the creek waters.

The wildlife we hear along the way are the continent’s smallest songbirds: Golden-crowned Kinglets, Pacific Wrens, and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Ironically, the little creek we hear half way through is an unnamed tributary, not Still Creek itself, which I do not lay eyes or ears on. The trail crosses over this little nameless creek in a pretty setting: crystal clear water pools against a decaying log, the waters slowly meandering through its crosscut. This interesting little scene is what is pictured on the cover. Generally speaking, I try to pair the cover image with the mood of the music. The bright orb of the sun refracting on the water, and the warm glow illuminating the submerged fir needles seemed to match the glimmering synth pads and dark, woody piano in the score.

I think the woodwinds add a romantic feel, and I have to say: it did feel romantic with the afternoon light filtering through the canopy. Not in a romance way, but in a, you know, a tender way. Just connecting with the space. Opening up to it. Feeling it.

This is a good primer for our next installment, Castle Canyon Soundwalk, which is even more soundscape-forward, featuring a more impressionistic, even experimental score. Very open.

For now, enjoy Still Creek Soundwalk. I love the name. (I chose this trail half just because I liked the name, and half because it wasn’t covered with snow.) Thanks again for reading, for listening, for coming along this journey.

Still Creek Soundwalk will be available on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple, Tidal, Amazon, YouTube…) tomorrow next Friday, May 3. (Oops! I forgot to update my calendar after nudging the date.)

Soundwalk combines roving field recordings with an original musical score. Each episode introduces you to a sound-rich environment, and embarks on an immersive listening journey. It's a mindful, wordless, renewing retreat.
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Appears in episode
Chad Crouch