Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline lake in Mono County, California became the centre of a conservation project in the mid- to late 1970s after years of decline due to the diversion of water supplying the lake to meet the needs of Los Angeles in the 1940s. With little freshwater flowing into the lake salt levels within the lake rose, water evaporation rates exceeded inflow rates and the surface level began to fall rapidly. As well as being extremely salty the water is very alkaline, no fish survives in such conditions but brine shrimp thrive.
With the formation of the Mono Lake Committee, a dedicated group of people organised themselves to try to save the lake form further decline and today they have been successful in reversing some of the problems faced by the lake’s ecosystem. As part of the efforts to raise awareness of the plight of ecological problems of Mono Lake the Mono Lake Committee have shot a 27-minute high definition documentary film, Mono Lake Story, highlighting the fragile ecosystem of the lake today but also documenting the natural beauty of the region. American composer Cody Westheimer (whose titles include documentaries such as The Runner and UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons, 50 States, 50 Days as well as the feature-length documentary on the making of Hellboy, Hellboy: The Seeds of Creation) composes a score that listens as a series of ideas for a small ensemble of instruments: guitar (acoustic and electric), a few strings, piano, winds and some percussion. The music doesn’t really effect any specific emotional response when listened to separate to the film. But I can imagine the music allowing the images to make their own impact on the viewer, with the music acting more as a sensory filler that is pleasant to the ear but doesn’t detract from the natural beauty of the visuals. Read the rest of this entry »