Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Episode 548 (10-26-20): Hello to Halloween with Water Readings and “A Little Fright Music” by Torrin Hallett

 Click to listen to episode (4:19)

Sections below are the following:

Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 10-23-20.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of October 26, 2020.

MUSIC – ~8 sec – instrumental

This week, we celebrate Halloween with original music and with some water-related passages from fiction and non-fiction chosen for the haunting holiday.  Have a listen to the music for about 30 more seconds.

MUSIC  - ~31 sec – instrumental 

You’ve been listening to part of “A Little Fright Music,” composed for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett, a graduate student at Lamont School of Music in Denver.  The music sets the stage for hearing five passages that invoke water as scary, supernatural, mysterious, or simply imaginative.  All are excerpted from quotations published on the Web site GoodReads.com.

From Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs, and Human Imagination, by Barbara Hurd:

“Swamps and bogs are places of transition and wild growth, breeding grounds, experimental labs where organisms and ideas have the luxury of being out of the spotlight, where the imagination can mutate and mate, send tendrils into and out of the water.”

From Lifemaker, by Dean F. Wilson:

“Something pressed against the window, nudging the submarine.  Its hide was almost as dark as the waters around it, but its scales glistened from the light inside the room.  Jacob badly wanted to douse the oil lamp, to hide inside a different darkness, but he had a feeling that any change inside the room, any step, any dimming of a light, any sound, might be like a beacon to the beast outside.”

From The Mere Wife, by Maria Dahvana Headley:

“It's water from beneath the mountain, and it’s full of the taste of bones and rocks. She's bought five cases of bottled to keep from having to serve this, even in ice-cube format. There's something awful about it. It feels full of ghosts.” 

From Into the Drowning Deep, by Mira Grant:

“What you have to understand about the mermaid legend is that it's universal.  No matter where you go, the mermaids got there first.  Even inland, if there's a big enough lake, I guarantee you there's a local community with a story about women in the water with beautiful voices who lure men to their deaths.”

And finally, from The Tempest, by William Shakespeare:

“Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.”

Thanks to Torrin Hallett for this week’s music, and we close with the final few seconds of “A Little Fright Music.”  Happy Halloween!

MUSIC  - ~11 sec – instrumental


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


“A Little Fright Music” is copyright 2020 by Torrin Hallett, used with permission.  Torrin is a 2018 graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, and a 2020 graduate in Horn Performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York.  As of 2020-21, he is a performance certificate candidate at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.  More information about Torrin is available online at https://www.facebook.com/torrin.hallett.  Thanks very much to Torrin for composing the piece especially for Virginia Water Radio.  To hear the complete piece (49 seconds), please click here.

Readers may recognize in Torrin’s title for this piece a play on words on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “A Little Night Music” (actually “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” in the original German).  For more on that composition, see Encyclopedia Britannica, “Eine kleine Nachtmusik,” online at https://www.britannica.com/topic/Eine-kleine-Nachtmusik.

Following are other music pieces composed by Torrin Hallett for Virginia Water Radio, with episodes featuring the music.
“Beetle Ballet” – used in Episode 525, 5-18-20, on aquatic beetles.
“Chesapeake Bay Ballad” – in Episode 537, 8-10-20, on conditions in the Chesapeake Bay.
“Corona Cue” – used in Episode 517, 3-23-20, on the coronavirus pandemic.
“Geese Piece” – used most recently in Episode 440, 10-1-18, on E-bird.
“Lizard Lied” – used in Episode 514, 3-2-20, on lizards.
“New Year’s Water” – used in Episode 349, 1-2-17, on the New Year.
“Rain Refrain” – used most recently in Episode 455, 1-14-19, on record Virginia precipitation in 2019.
“Spider Strike” – used in Episode 523, 5-4-20, on fishing spiders.
“Tropical Tantrum” – used most recently in Episode 489, 9-9-19, on storm surge and Hurricane Dorian. “Turkey Tune” – used in Episode 343, 11-21-16, on the Wild Turkey. 

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.


Cover art for an edition of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, by Robert Anning Bell (1869-1933).  Date of image estimated at 1900.  Image from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Luna Image Collection, online at https://luna.folger.edu/luna/servlet/allCollections; specific URL for this image was this link, as of 10-27-20.  This image is made available by the Folger Library for public use under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (Attribution—ShareAlike).  For more information on Creative Commons licenses, please see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/; information on License 4.0 specifically is online at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.


Goodreads, Inc., “Water Quotes,” online at https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/water.  Following are the Goodreads links to the books cited in this episode:

For Mira Grant, Into the Drowning Deep: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/55657440-into-the-drowning-deep.

For Maria Dahvana Headley, The Mere Wife: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/58009682-the-mere-wife.

For Barbara Hurd, Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs, and Human Imagination: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/114226-stirring-the-mud-on-swamps-bogs-and-human-imagination.

For William Shakespeare, The Tempest: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1359590-the-tempest.

For Dean F. Wilson, Lifemaker: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/43382568-lifemaker-the-great-iron-war-2.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).  See particularly the “Overall Importance of Water” subject category. 

Following are links to previous episodes done for Halloween.

Episode 185, 10-28-13 – on Hellbenders (a type of salamander).
Episode 238, 10-31-14
– on American Witch Hazel (a shrub).
Episode 287, 10-26-15
– on water and the human skeleton.
Episode 392, 10-30-17
 – on water and blood.


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs 

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2017 English SOLs

5.4, 6.5, 7.4, 8.4, 8.5, 9.3, 9.4, 10.3, 10.4, 11.4 – symbols, imagery, figurative language, and other literary devices.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20 – on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20 – on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.