Week 10: Casey Klahn's

The Art

“TREE RIVER” by Casey Klahn
14.6″ x 19″

Casey Klahn

"Tree River" by Casey Klahn

“Tree River” by Casey Klahn


 The Music

“WATERPATH TO THE OCEAN” (5:57 mins) © Helen Davey
(for accordion, lap harp, 2 pianos)


Artist’s Notes

Casey Klahn’s Pastel

The image Tree River is of the Little Hoquiam River (pronounced (/ˈhoʊkwiəm/ US dict: hōk′·wē·əm) and sometime mis-pronounced by me, on purpose, as hō kyim.  It is an Indian name, and the river and my home town, are Pacific tidal regions.  The muddy banks of the river are exposed at low tide, and trout jump frequently, and Harbor Seals are seen all of the time.  It is a tremendously wet environment, and the air is always heavy with rain.


My Music

Tree River has several stories of movement for me: the water, the fauna, the flora and the people. I loved the movement in the water and the constant sense of rainfall; Ultimately, I chose to sound-paint the journey of the water. From it’s source as rain,  the droplets form trickles, then streams, flowing ever downward into the river and meandering out to sea;

Tree River - detail

Tree River – detail

I selected the lap-harp for the droplets of rain and the two pianos for the bodies of water (covered thickly for a contained, damped down sound). You can hear the “running” river from piano one, with it’s swirls and eddies; As the river gets closer, piano two adds the bass notes for sea-level.

From Casey’s Blog featuring another painting from his Hoquiam River series, he mentions that for him, this place has “deeply held observations and feelings”. I chose the accordion to weave the sense of home in this piece.


My trusty accordion :-)

My trusty accordion 🙂

I  tried to convey the bends in the river, culminating in the delta, when the river hits the ocean. Here the containment of the riverbank  – and the inherent tension – dissipates into the breadth and flow of the ocean. Here is the  the water’s destination – The resolution is for you Casey :).

Trust you’ve enjoyed this week’s art and music combination. I’d LOVE to hear what you hear/see in these artworks via the comments section below;  please feel free to share this around to anyone interested in art & music via the little icons below. Thanks for swinging by.

PS. Feel free to feed the fish (with a click from your mouse).
PPS. you can buy the music track here: bandcamp
PPPS. Isn’t that remarkable!





16 comments to Week 10: Casey Klahn’s “Tree River”

  • Yes. I get the resolve. This piece of music opens up new feelings for the place, and tells the story of where the Hoquiam River is. Kind thanks.

  • Helen

    Glad you like it Casey 🙂

  • A friend shared your work with me on Facebook Helen. Love the concept of creating soundscapes in response to the art work of different artists and in this instance Casey Klahn’s ‘Tree River’ ~ Where impression of the movement of mudflats and water is beautifully drawn.

  • Helen,
    I’m visiting from Casey’s blog. Beautiful response to the environment and to the painting. I love your descriptions of why you chose the different instruments for each part in the piece. The contrasting sounds of the different instruments are haunting and lovely. You have a new fan here!

  • Ruth,
    many thanks for your thoughts. I was angsting over another stunning painting of Casey’s but it just wasn’t coming together. Once I’d gone out into the forest for a walk and sat beside a stream, I happily settled into this painting. So much beauty in the sound of water… it’s a constant source of inspiration.

  • Silke Brockmann

    Hi Helen,
    Again you created a wonderful dense atmosphere and I get the strong feeling that I received much more information about the place, the paiting and the artist, than I would get if I travelled personally to that place. Your sound painting is not only a translation into another sense-level but also an amp! Thank you so much for this ear- and heart-opening! Silke

  • It is eerie how much you add to the painting. Not being a musician, I don’t “think” in sound until you present it like that, and then it seems integral. Like the painting, it is interwoven, sounds and pastel strokes discrete, but harmonious and varied and mesmerizing.

    • Helen

      Well I’m totally with you Bronle re the mesmerising quality of Casey’s Beautiful artwork.Thrilled that my music conveys something of that. Thanks.

  • PS I liked feeding your fish.

  • Helen, this music is special, I could listen all day and I love the accordian

    • Helen

      Kathleen what a compliment: listening all day ! 🙂 Thank you so much. I too love the accordion. I do believe it may be one of the most underestimated instruments… it just tugs on my heart strings.

  • Helen, the accordion has a air of nostalgia for me, and romance. I think of Paris cafes or Italian festivities. I’m happy you include it in your music.

    • Helen

      Yes, the accordion is just a heart string tugger isn’t it? The more I play it, the more I love it’s sound and where it takes me…

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>