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In 2007 Bruce was approached by underwater photographer Colin Gans with the idea of composing a piece for a digital slideshow presentation of images captured in Niue. The stunning underwater images proved to be an excellent catalyst for ideas that would form a new piece entitled Sea Life. The work can be considered a type of tone poem that begins with the image of a diver sitting in a boat and commencing his dive with a “Backward Roll Entry” into the sea. The diver is surrounded by a momentary surge of bubbles and is soon swimming about. Gradually the scene beneath the waves is revealed and signs of life start to appear - small fish darting about, inquisitive grouper fish along with other fascinating and delicately beautiful creatures. Dissonant chords represent a large shark quietly passing by with its fins glinting in reflected sunlight from the surface. Surging arpeggios represent the awe-inspiring sight of a massive school of fish moving rapidly as one powerful entity. Eventually the diver’s underwater experience comes to an end and the final bars of the piece represent the return to the surface and daylight.
Sea Life became the catalyst for a further three pieces; The Whale and the Octopus, Dance of the Walrus and finally Shark Dream and Reprise which rounds off the suite.
Inspired by underwater photography of Colin Gans. Images can be viewed here
for Colin Gans
1. Sea Life
2. The Whale and the Octopus
3. Dance of the Walrus
4. Shark Dream and Reprise
10 Mar 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine
20 May 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at the All Saints Church Hall, Auckland
24 May 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at the Thursdays at Seven, Howick
30 Nov 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at the Hamilton Guitar Society, Hamilton
06 Dec 2008: Performed by Bruce Paine at Alberton, Mount Albert, Auckland