We love the wolf beacause we hear our own voice calling in the wilderness. We envy the wolf’s freedom instinct for playfulness. WN
Canis Lupus: the manifestation of sonic environs, compositions and concerts developed through Neil’s exploration of the sounds of wolves and his interest in the promoting the reintroduction of wolves into the wild.
Lamentation is a short movement lamenting the loss of wolves that have been reintroduced in the wild over the last 20 years.
This composition was created incorporating the recorded howling, choruses, yelping and growling of wolves. There are no electronically generated sounds involved in my work – just edited recordings from wolves in the wild. I used an advanced sound-editing program to alter the resonance and dynamics of the sounds.
The instruments that I have chosen to perform today are; the multi-chambered Aztec whistle, the Aztec death whistle, and an overtone flute that I had made specifically for me by a Serbian craftsman. In performing with these chosen instruments, I am illuminating the spiritual element associated with the Native American’s great respect for wolves emphasizing the mystic bond that humans share with this magnificent creature.
It is my intention to create diverse compositions for various settings employing digital wolf sounds with instruments. For example, I am proposing to compose for the digital sounds and string quartet or solo piano in a concert setting. Other pieces will involve a multi-media performance with video. Additionally, I would like to be involved in the study of wolves responding to my soundscapes and would even like to pursue the possibility of performing with live wolves howling.
I performed Lamentation at the 2018 International Wolf Symposium “Wolves in a Changing World” in Minneapolis in September of 2018:
Night of Wolves: Step into the world of the night reaching deep into the forest of nocturnal sonic landscapes with composer William Neil and jazz musician, Tom Gullion. The duo, AKA Project FourthStream, featuring guest artist, bassist Karyn Quinn will un-leash primal sounds of the night in the interpretation of Neil’s Six Nocturnes for piano. The evening’s performance will be enhanced by Neil’s digital acoustic soundscape of wolf howls, cries and growls and Gullion’s new live interactive performance application IMM. The double bass artistry of Karyn Quinn will add a deep acoustic to this music of the night.
Most recently I premiered Night of Wolves with Project FourthStream in November of 2019:
My comments before our performance:
“I heard wolves howl in the wild for the first time while vacationing in Isle Royale on Lake Superior. Ever since this first encounter, I have been inspired to compose music that compliments their extraordinary and mysterious vocal expression.
Canis Lupus, or the American Grey Wolf, is one of the most loved and protected yet hated and hunted animals in the US. The earliest Americans worshipped them, Settlers tried everything to wipe them out and the battle continues. Yet most people now accept the evidence that these natural predators bring ecological balance to the wilderness. The problem is that they need space because wolves get fed by their feet. They are hungry seekers of food and a mate. However, the sad part is that few lone wolves of either gender ever find what they are seeking. They either return to their natal pack or die alone far from home. Never-the-less, life for wolves is an adventure. So, please join us on our sonic adventure in this Night of Wolves.”
Other digital soundscapes: