Lewis deSoto with Erin Neff
Lewis deSoto has employed sound and acoustical phenomena during his career to investigate the experience of space and memory. Sound is inextricably bound to our perceptions, our experiences, and our emotions. In this project, he collaborates with San Francisco opera singer Erin Neff to translate Hermann Hesse’s wistful poem “Lament” into music. Four speakers mounted in the trees play four unsynchronized tracks, each one a stanza from the poem. The resulting vocal mystery plays among the trees. “Lament (Klage)” appears at the end of Hesse’s 1943 novel The Glass Bead Game. The haunting tone of “Lament” bemoans humankind’s irreversible journey from birth to death as characterized by unceasing change. No matter our yearning for permanence, the element of change is inevitable.