Available Light: Background
The piece uses wind and light as metaphors for how we gather information about the world. The wind, in constant motion, sees everything and carries what it sees wherever it travels. If you know how to listen to it, you can hear it speak to us as it howls through the buildings in the city. The movement of light is quite different. It captures moments in time, as in a photograph or even as in a motion picture, which is just a procession of still photos that moves too quickly for our eye to detect. Both wind and light capture what’s going on in the world, but neither brings you wisdom to understand what all this information means. For wisdom, you need to understand your life and what’s happening around you. You gather wisdom by understanding what you’re seeing in the available light around you.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault
“On a tune like ‘Available Light,’ where the bass just provides some simple, low-end support, I’d rather play the keyboards and sing. It’s just a question of what instrument will be rewarding to play from a player’s point of view. If the keyboard is simply playing a strict, four-chord repeating pattern, then I’d rather just program it into some MIDI pedal and have some fun playing bass.” (Guitar Player, 1990)—Geddy in Songfacts
The piece was included in a jazz covers project, called Second Season, released in 2008 by Wave Mechanics Union. The project was developed by composers Ryan Fraley and Ralph Johnson and vocalist Lydia McAdams. The album interprets classic progressive rock tracks as orchestral jazz pieces. In addition to “Available Light,” the album includes Yes’s “Heart of the Sunrise,” Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song,” and The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.