We humans, the nascent beings that we are, still haven’t quite figured out the full potential of music. Dancing, meditating, emoting, protesting; these are all pretty basic. But what if we communicated more complex ideas with music? What if we codified all of our activities with music? This idea came to composer Joanne Forman when commissioned in 1987 to create the soundscape for an environmental exhibition of sculpture called Artifacts from an Alien Civilization in Taos, New Mexico. The sculptures, elaborate ruins that had been found on the moon, begged the question: who created them and for what purpose?
Joanne Forman imagined that Earth’s moon was a vacation spot for advanced beings from another galaxy. In her mind, the sculptures in the exhibit were the remnants of a deserted playground. Cave Vaults of the Moon became a collection of sonic texts describing the recreational activities that went on there; earth-viewing, collecting information, building and playing.