Nov 9 • 3M

Meditation 015 | Melyn

D Minor | Vol. II, Issue 3

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Volume II of the original music shared in the Fog Chaser newsletter (September 2022 - August 2023)
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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.1

Said Katsura nestled between western redcedars outside the window at Foggy HQ.

Note: Another song that was first shared in this newsletter, ‘Alpine’, is out now on streaming platforms, via Sonder House.

Listen on your preferred platform

🎵 This month’s piece is in D minor, the relative minor of F major, the key of last month’s piece.2 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,3 I felt compelled to try my hand at writing some string parts.4

📷 I took this month’s photo on film in the temperate rainforest near Silver Falls State Park in Oregon.5 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.

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A Poem

Choices

by Tess Gallagher6

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
would be.

🔈 A reading:
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  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Powell’s)

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1

Hence this month’s title, “Melyn”, which means “yellow” in Welsh.

2

Melyn in D minor / Recorded in Logic Pro / Written and produced by Fog Chaser

3

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).

4

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.

5

Melyn / 35mm film (Fujifilm Superia / ISO 400) / Silver Falls State Park, Oregon, USA / Order a print.

6

From Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems by Tess Gallagher (Graywolf Press, 2011) (Powell’s)