Posted by: normanlgreen | March 11, 2012

Dream, March 11, 2012 unplanned custom home sound-scape

Dream, home, 6:16 am

A crew of artisans have been hired to build a custom home for a wealthy client. Somehow, I have been included in the roster of specialists.

When I arrive on the site, I park a green coupe in the alley behind the frame that has been raised on a poured foundation. It is late in the afternoon on a clear day.

The general contractor outlines the rules set-down by the owner. None of the craftspeople involved know the over-arching plan. In fact, many are asked to improvise their portion of the design, based upon earlier improvisations. Also, in addition to working within my own discipline (unstated) I am expected to take on a field with which I am unfamiliar. Some of the sub-contractors have three assignments. The owner has a neatness fetish and demands that no sign of the days work may be left in place, on the off-chance that she might visit the building site, after hours.

As it is the end of the working day, I only have to help clean-up – sweeping sawdust and recycling cardboard.

The general leaves me with another of the sub-contractors who grumbles about working as a janitor. As he and I talk, I try to fold a broken-down cardboard box, but the assembled container must have been irregular in shape, as I cannot fold the creased panels into a shape efficient for carrying.

Most of the house is barely framed-out, with the exposed yellow pine taking a pink tone in the late light.

My co-worker complains about the landscape artist, a Japanese man who is still at work upstairs in the only portion of the house that has been walled-in and extends to a proposed second story. Though I don’t know the landscape artist, I wish to get on the good side of the only other worker I have met, so I join-in with the complaining, proposing that the unseen man won’t like having to clean-up after the others, now that they have left the construction site.

I hear the Japanese man at work, as he not only has to design and execute the landscape while construction is still in progress, but he is to compose a musical sound-scape. He works with a set of high-pitched wind chimes. The way that he bashes at them, he manages to make the tinkling chimes express his frustration. I round the back of the house and approach the rear of the green coupe, which is lit-up by the setting sun, so the alley runs on a true East-West line. I struggle with the awkward tangle of corrugated cardboard, when my attention is draw to the scream of an electric saw coming from the upstairs of the unfinished house – the landscape artist is now turning his talents to finish carpentry. The chimes sound again, anarchically – the buzz of the electric saw may make its way into the musical composition.


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