Date of composition: 2023
Format: fixed medium sound (8ch)
Awards: PRIX CIME 2023, CIME-ICEM, Rethymno, Greece, 2023
Programme note: (download as PDF)
"Only he, The Giver of Life …
Precious realities make it rain,
From you comes your happiness,
Giver of life! …"
Nezahualcóyotl (1402 –1472)
Lake Nezahualcóyotl is a reservoir in Chiapas, Mexico, created as part of a hydroelectric power scheme. The dam was completed in 1966, and the area around the original lake flooded. Just a year earlier a similar flooding drowned the village of Capel Celyn in Wales, controversially displacing its Welsh-speaking residents to provide water for Liverpool. At both lakes, droughts cause the periodic re-emergence of the drowned buildings, with increasing regularity: a 16th century church at Lake Nezahualcóyotl and the ruins of the Welsh village of Capel Celyn. In Wales, these appearances re-awaken painful memories of past injustices, but they are also a very present reminder of the crisis of climate change, in Mexico, Wales and across the globe.
Two Lakes was composed in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University, Wales. It was awarded the 2023 PRIX CIME composition prize. Materials in the piece have been shaped using water level and flow data from both lakes, provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service and the National River Flow Archive (UK). I am indebted to Dr Iestyn Woolway, of Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences, for his assistance in accessing and understanding the data.