To Adumbrate is to cast a faint image, to partially conceal, or to prefigure and suggest a new pattern in the shadows of the old. The Scratch Pieces are four pieces of music, each based on a visual image, where the image represents a gesture, an object that is realised by sound in time.
The duration of each piece is the same (6 minutes, 18 seconds).
In medieval heraldry, 'adumbration' refers to the outline of figure, or an image painted in a darker shade of the same color as the background. I find it powerfully affecting, an idea of erasure. The center vanishes, leaving only the peripheral, the aura. If I looked up from the computer screen where I am typing this entry, and and if I realised that there were 4 minutes left before I died: the efforts and ambition of metabolic life would leave me. What remains is this frisson of the real, the imagined, the strong connections, the half deluded dreams. Now frozen for these fast remaining minutes.
A mug of tea breaks. The china is fractured, the structural integrity gone. But for a moment, the form remains.
Monks spend weeks creating sand mandala. And then the pattern is swept up. But there is a moment between the dispersal of the materials and the gesture of disruption.
The process of adumbration.