Song 109 – Sedimentation – Earth Memories

By April 16, 2018Songs

This song was not used as the music for a Psalm, and it is referenced by Song 021 – Dunes. As mentioned in Dunes, there are now several “geology songs” resulted from thoughts at a 2015 dance recital at SUU (Southern Utah University), which was directed by our then neighbor Patty Meredith. After getting the idea, and as I transferred the songs in my notebook to digital files, when I had a song started, with chords and no words, I would use this teaser as the basis for writing a song about one of the different geologic processes I thought of as I watched Patty’s dance about a beehive. Since these geology songs were written after I finished putting the Psalms to the music of my Songs, none of the geology songs contributed to the Psalms. This is just like sedimentation, once a layer of rock is deposited, the next higher layer of rock is younger, and only replaces the older rock if there has been erosion or dissolving or faulting which removes the older rock. A good example of sedimentation is how sand layers grow in a sand dune. These sand dunes are turned to rock as they are buried and put under extreme pressures and temperatures. The photo to the left shows an interpretation of the sedimentation history of a petrified sand dune. In a very real sense, these sedimentary depositional processes create a memory, or a written record, of the younger parts of the earth. This memory is created as layers of sediment, later consolidated as layers of rock, are deposited one on top of another, as part of the process of sedimentary deposition. The chorus to this song was written before I added the verses. I could rewrite the chorus in geologic terms saying: “At the outcrop we are surrounded by memories of sunshine, wind and rain storms, recalling deposition of mud, sand, fine grained detrital material, and the growth of reefs. The layers of sediment recall landslides, creep, wind and water carried sediments, and the growth of vegetation and reefs. The layers of rock are the sum of the depositional history, or the natural process history tied to locations. The positive accumulation of sediments creates layers which when cooked when put under pressure of burial become rock. The negative erosion of sediments carries material to the sea and creates voids for future sedimentation.” These earth processes parallel the laying down of memories in our minds.

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