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Wolfgang in the garden

Gravitation and other graces

audio essay

LISTEN to an excerpt:Gravitation
00:00 / 04:24

Gravitation and Other Graces is a 26 minute audio feature — part documentary, part personal rumination and, in some small part, a fairy tale.

Some years ago, when I was returning to health after a year of serious illness, I stumbled onto a small group of friends caring for an elderly gnome-ish armchair philosopher. I found myself drawn into their circle. And entering this community was like falling down a rabbit hole. I started to wonder about the mysteries of human caring and generosity; about the gifts, and the burdens, that come with giving care ... and receiving it. 

LISTEN to full piece:Gravitation and other graces
00:00 / 26:09

More about Wolfgang’s life, his artwork and friends can be found here.


Gravitation and other Graces is featured on the Third Coast International Audio Festival's Library Spotlight where there's more about how the project came into being.

I owe deep thanks to the people in Wolfgang Hauer’s circle who welcomed my microphone year after year: Lenny Bass, Nan Stoll, Zeke Bass, Tara Griffith, Dale Jerome, Jesse Rubin, Pattie Postel, and of course Wolfgang himself.

The music for the piece was developed under the direction of composer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bishop whose evocative improvisations on clarinet and bass clarinet helped me come to understand the sonic and emotional texture of the piece.  Thank you also to Julian Bridges (marimba) and Dave Haughey (cello) for their improvisations. The music recording was engineered by Jason Corey and Austin Stawowczyk in the Duderstadt Center at the University of Michigan. The final mix was engineered by Rob Byers.

I am grateful for the long thoughtful editorial conversations with John Biewen in final stretch of this project.

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