Neil Welch, Continuous Resonance Project
Location: Fort Casey, Whidbey Island WA
Instrument: Alto saxophone
IMPROV 3 of 3
My wife and I spent the day in Port Townsend, one of my favorite cities on the Olympic Peninsula. From Whidbey Island the this portion of the mainland is only accessible by ferry. Beside the ferry terminal on the Whidbey side is For Casey, a massive fortification built to defend the Pacific Northwest from attack during WWII. I had brought my horn along knowing that I would want to stop and record on the way home.
Around 6pm or so I drove into the surrounding area of the fort, parked on a service road a walked a little ways until I reached the underground nuclear storage buildings. These are 2-story high massive concrete barracks built into the hillside. A few of them are accessible to the public, and are also a favorite nesting area for swallows. There is no light inside, and water slowly drips down from the ceiling overhead, creating tiny stalactites. I recorded 3 improvisations, each approximately 5 minutes in length, exploring the extraordinary acoustics of the space. Each time I return to this room, I realize that this nuclear holding area is one of the most inspiring places I’ve had the chance to play, both for it’s resonant 20 second room sustain and its dark history.