Meditation 015 | Melyn
D Minor | Vol. II, Issue 3
For the Rojahn family.
Thank you for being here for the 15th installment of this newsletter — and a very special welcome to those of you who are new here. To catch up on all things Fog Chaser, feel free to explore the songs and words from Volume I.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, the mornings are dark again. The fog is sitting heavily over the river outside my window. Scattered crows are flying, seemingly directionless, by the first light of day. I’m enjoying the season’s yellowing hues, the crisp light and cutting wind, the woodsmoke carried on the air, and the muffled quiet that comes as people huddle inside and the fallen leaves absorb the world’s waning din.
There’s a tree just outside the window of my studio — a Katsura tree, I’ve learned — that turned stunningly gold last week, seemingly overnight, and I’ve been appreciating it’s company while writing this month’s piece.
Note: Another song that was first shared in this newsletter, ‘Alpine’, is out now on streaming platforms, via Sonder House.
🎵 This month’s piece is in D minor, the relative minor of F major, the key of last month’s piece.This one started with the main piano part you hear throughout the song, but after attending a really mesmerizing string quartet performance a few weeks ago, I felt compelled to try my hand at writing some string parts.
📷 I took this month’s photo on film in the temperate rainforest near Silver Falls State Park in Oregon.There’s something about the blurred quality of this photo that I enjoy — the way the light pours through the trees gives it a wobbly/dreamy feeling that makes me want to take a nap in a bed of leaves.
I invite you to sit with this song, photo, and poem and make them a small part of your day, whether that’s your morning ritual, afternoon break, or your evening wind-down.
As always, if you feel like it, let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you again for being here.
by Tess Gallagher
I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.
I don’t cut that one.
I don’t cut the others either.
Suddenly, in every tree,
an unseen nest
where a mountain
🔈 A reading:
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Powell’s)
Missing Person by Patrick Modiano (Powell’s)
et al by Pat Hull (Listen)
Note: I put all the songs shared in the newsletter into this Spotify playlist
A recent piece in The Good Trade where I was fortunate to contribute a few quotes about this project: “What’s The Deal With Substack Newsletters?”
The piece was written by Kayti Christian, the writer of one of my favorite newsletters, Feelings Not Aside:
The Good Trade also very kindly included this newsletter on their list of “99 Newsletters to Inform and Inspire”
Artist June Leaf’s very entertaining responses to questions asked in a recent interview with The New York Times Style Magazine:
“What’s the first piece of art you ever made?
What’s the first piece of art I ever made? What a stupid question. Oh, it’s such a stupid question.”
Two new pieces that I wrote for Elle Griffin’s novel, Oblivion:
Hence this month’s title, “Melyn”, which means “yellow” in Welsh.
Melyn in D minor / Recorded in Logic Pro / Written and produced by Fog Chaser
Hosted by Third Angle, featuring works by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (Pisachi, 2013); Chris Cerrone (Nervous Systems, 2022); Gabriel Kahane (String Quartet No. 1 - "Klee" 2021); and Adolphus Hailstork (Three Smiles for Tracy, 1989).
Theory notes: Nothing too much of note theory-wise with this piece. There’s a little melody in the first section that emphasizes the harmonic minor scale (raised 7th) before taking its leave via a descending line cliché (a stepwise/chromatic line). Being in the minor key, I do borrow the V7 from the key of D major, which has an C-sharp instead of an C natural, to create a little extra pull to the I. Questions? Corrections? Lemme know.
Melyn / 35mm film (Fujifilm Superia / ISO 400) / Silver Falls State Park, Oregon, USA / Order a print.