Sacred and Profane, is an electro-acoustic music cycle of
five works. The title suggests one way of dividing the nature of
the universe, and as well, that of time. Most specifically, it
can define day of rest (the Sabbath) as separate from the other
six days of the week (the profane). In a musical context, it
describes, or alludes to, sacred moments that are set up, by the
more profane moments of the piece. In this extensive work, it is
used to describe the basic materials of the five pieces, as well
as a general framework for understanding the various pieces. At
the same time, there are clear moments of the sacred in the
profane pieces as well. This is a mirroring of the awesome
aspects of the natural world.
Three of the works, An Awesome Silent Fire, Like Smoke
Towards Heaven, and Cry (Your Cry Will Be a Whisper II) are
drawn from the sayings of Rabbi Nachman of Bratislav, a leader
of the Hassidic movement in Poland of the 18th Century. These
texts were used for their poetic imagery, and the words (or
word), as spoken by Kip Haaheim, are the sole materials of these
three pieces. These pieces represent, for us, a human search, or
striving for the divine. Thus, the sacred aspect of this work.
The other two pieces, Mercury and Chromium, form the
profane part of the larger cycle. Each of these two works are in
three movements and are formed solely of synthesized (MIDI or
computer-generated) sounds; thus their more profane origination.
They reflect a look at the natural and human world at the same
time. These works incorporate dance elements, a quiet sense of
humor, as well as a subtle reference to sounds of the natural
and man-made world.