Chalice Well Barry D. Truax

Chalice Well is a holy well situated at the foot of Glastonbury Tor in southwest England, thought to be originally the island of Avalon from Arthurian legend, and the site where Joseph of Arimathea placed the chalice known as the Holy Grail. According to legend, the Tor, a masculine symbol, is hollow underneath and the entrance to the underworld, guarded by the Grail. The well, on the other hand, is a symbol of the feminine aspect of deity, and its waters are believed to possess healing qualities. This soundscape composition takes the listener on an imaginary journey down into the well, passing through several cavernous chambers on its descent, filled with rushing and trickling water, including the chamber of the feminine spirit. The journey continues to the glass chamber, then to the gates of the underworld, only to be confronted by the image of the Grail, and finally coming to rest in the space where wind and water, the masculine and the feminine, are combined.

  • Year of composition: 2009
  • Genre: Soundscape
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Instrumentation: 8 or 16 digital soundtracks
  • Software used: PODX system for sound synthesis and composition.
  • Duration of the submitted work: 14:05
  • Publisher: Cambridge Street Publishing
  • Premiere: March 2009, Chalice Well was premiered in the Sonic Lab of the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) in Belfast
  • Disc publication: Chalice Well is available on the Cambridge Street Records CD, The Elements and Beyond, CSR-CD 1401

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