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Underwater is based on the short story of the same name by Luis Arturo Ramos, contained in the book Sudden Fiction (continued). The story describes the experiences of a young man, Raul, as he struggles to rise to the surface of a cluttered river into which he has just plunged.
As a composer, I am very interested in the incorporation of narration into music. The challenge, as I have approached it thus far, has been to balance the prominence of the voice with that of the musical content. This difficulty is perhaps due in some part to the way the human brain processes speech as compared to music. Once a narrators voice begins, it is very difficult to focus attention equally on both the story and the musical elements. The solution in Underwater was to render the voice unintelligible.