Martin Kay | ALL THINGS METAL

Review by Vito Camarretta on 12th November 2014

"According to Martin's own words, the intention of the artist on "All Things Metal" is the highlighting of "the unique ability that metal possesses in abstracting, transforming and reconfiguring a given landscape" as well as "propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments". The metallic diaphragm which often becomes a sort of proper filtering by re-rendering the perception of surrounding ordinary aural inputs come from a series of installations of different kinds of microphones (contact, omni-directional air and cardioid air ones) on metallic objects or places that Martin carefully describes in the cover booklet: for instance, two contact microphones that Martin placed on a street light in Sapporo Downtown can turn footsteps, advertisements from different speakers and the buzzing noise of internal electronis of the streetlight itself into a sort of alien transmission on "Street Light in Male Entertainment Distr." or the ones he placed on the protective railing of a stairwell ("Tokyo Crows") or beneath an iron gutter ("Rain On Iron Gutter") in Futako Tamagawa or the omni-directional microphones hanging inside an abandoned Soviet oil tank in Yerevan could convey unpredictable aural experiences which can skim over psychedelia. The above-mentioned ability of metals is so abstractly extrinsic and mind-blowing in many moments of the release coming from excellent Hungarian label 3LEAVES that it could be considered a proper manifestation of a false-positively hidden hyperreality."

 

John Kannenberg | A SOUND MAP OF THE ART INSTITUE OF CHICAGO

Review by Vito Camarretta on 7th November 2014

"While I was having a tour with a friend inside Museum Fur Modern Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany, after getting hell-bented on visiting temporary exhibition by outside glacial winds more than its introduction, I noticed a dust-up nearby a sort of tube with no description of exhibiting artist so that I apprised security that someone could have left some rubbish. You can imagine my amused astonishment when the well-built woman in a faded grey suit haughtily replied "Das ist Kunst!" (That's art!)... That sketch was so fun to me that I thought that it could be recorded to share the fun with friends. I don't think this release came froma similar experience, but it's really interesting anyway. Following a conceptually similar sound mapping of Egyptian Museum in Cairo, John Kannenberg assembled an interesting sound map of the Art Institute of Chicago, which become the largest museum in the United States after the addition of Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, by means of an Olympus LS-10. The idea behind its field recording is what John refers to s "the active sounds of history", where contemproary visitors interact with "authentic historical objects to create new sonic contexts", but its path follows a concept which is completely different by interactive digital as it's not linear, but rather chaotic. The 52 sketches that John assembled to render his personal tour inside Chicago Art Institue could be considered a proper memory map as it doesn't really follows a prearranged route, even if it departs from the recording of bucket drummers outside the museum on Michigan Avenue and ends with the sounds he grabbed while walking from Modern Wing Ground Floor bookstore to street exit and such a personal cut can be easily grasped by the inclusion of "ordinary" moments such as alarm sounds, crowd disembarking from elevators, maintenance workers, conversations as well as personal clues such as footsteps or slap on the wrist by security guards which could sound peculiar or somehow bizarre in that specific context."

 

Kate Carr | OVERHEARD IN DOI SAKET

Review by Richard Allen on 15th Agust 2014

"Back in February, we reviewed Kate Carr‘s sound map "Lost in Doi Saket", and expressed our desire for a physical release.  Our wish has just been granted in an unusual way; Overheard in Doi Saket is presented as a sound card in a case the size as a cheese cracker, along with a booklet the size of a coin.  This isn’t what we expected, but it’s really neat.  The album feels like a secret document smuggled out of the country, and well it could have been, concealed under the tongue.

The most obvious difference between the sound map and the physical release is the ability to play it through a home stereo.  One is immediately immersed in the sounds of Thailand: a motorcycle rides between speakers while the locals converse and music plays.  Carr calls this overture “Snatches”, which seems apt; it’s a playful introduction to the aural experience.  Another difference is that the sound map contained over sixty segments, while the sound card contains only eleven.  Yet Carr has chosen well; in this case, less is more. By selecting a representative variety of sounds, the artist offers focus; the same holds true for the photographs selected, two of which are reproduced here.  It must have been difficult to make these decisions, but by boiling her journey down to its essence, Carr has given it form and additional meaning.  No longer just a collection of sounds, the Doi Saket collection is also a meditation on the experience, a honing of memories that is now a keepsake.

The humor of the initial presentation is preserved in titles such as “Two Pigeons Trying To Mate On A Wobbly Wire” and “I Ran Up And Down The Stairs Of The Dam”.  Carr’s personality shines through.  This makes the work a sonic diary to which strangers are invited: we never forget the woman behind the sounds, all but invisible sonically but ever present as a silent guide.

The sounds of Doi Saket are layered here as they are in real life.  Simple, non-site-specific field recordings are absent; we never hear “just” a river or an unadorned breeze.  Pigeons coo, people sing, and all the while those motorcycles and scooters are present, zipping in and out of the mix on their way to their next essential appointment.  A shopkeeper sweeps; a rooster crows; gurgles echo below local streams.

Thailand may be busy and messy, but it is also filled with holiness.  The chimes and chants of “Underwater” are reminders of the nation’s spiritual side.  It was only a couple months ago that the military staged a coup, but according to some missionaries I know there, this hasn’t affected the smaller towns outside of the capital.  Still, with such turmoil, it’s wonderful to have a reminder of the nation’s best qualities: a soundscape that reflects a nation’s hopes and dreams.  Carr presents Thailand’s best side through this work, weaving a colorful tapestry of human and environmental sound.  One cannot imagine a better tribute to a place that for a brief and treasured time Carr called home."

 

John Kannenberg | A SOUND MAP OF THE ART INSTITUE OF CHICAGO

Review by Cheryl Tipp on 7th Agust 2014

"Recording the “active sounds of history”. This lies at the heart of John Kannenberg’s ongoing interest in the sonic environments of cultural heritage institutions. As contemporary visitors interact with historical objects, how do these fleeting relationships manifest themselves in the soundscape? How do they lend themselves to the overall “sound” of a museum?

Following on from his 2011 release ‘A Sound Map of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo’, Kannenberg puts these questions under the microscope as he turns his attentions to the Art Institute of Chicago; one of the largest and oldest art collections in the United States, representing over 5,000 years of Human artistic expression and holding 300,000 works. As we move through the sound map, a 1 hour collage of recordings made in various galleries throughout the building, we get a real sense of the scale of this historic institution. Though not able to visualise or hear the historical artefacts themselves, the recordings succeed because they allow us to imagine. To envisage the space and the design based on our own experiences of similar museums around the world. The accompanying insert gives location pointers, much like a traditional museum map – Ando Gallery of Japanese art: Gallery 109, American Gothic: Gallery 263, African Art: Gallery 137 – helping to feed our imaginations even further. A series of floor plans reinforce the sheer magnitude of the building.

Kannenberg also focuses on the sounds of the building itself; clunking elevator doors, squeaking floorboards, a buzzing fluorescent sign, a humming exhaust fan. Akin to a rumbling stomach or a clicking joint, these little sounds remind us to think of the structure, stoically guarding various cultural treasures for future generations to experience, question and enjoy.

“I found myself drawn to situations in which I played an audible part”

For me, this sentence represents the greatest success of the sound map. The fact that we can hear Kannenberg, walking through the galleries and interacting with the staff, gives the whole piece a welcoming, familiar feel. Almost as if we are walking at his side, taking in the paintings, sculptures and photographs, pausing every now and then to listen to a gallery talk, observe a drawing class or have a spot of lunch.

‘A Sound Map of the Art Institute of Chicago’ is a well-curated sonic journey that instantly engages the listener. Detailed and varied, the composition has reminded me not only of my own love of museums, but also of the huge potential they offer the visitor. Through his work, Kannenberg is beginning to explore a fascinating aspect of the museum experience, bringing sound to the forefront and encouraging others to tune into the sonic delights that these mighty institutions have to offer."

 

GALLERY WHISPERS AND LUNCH IN THE CAFÉ

Article by Allison Meier on 1st August 2014

"There are so many sounds in museums that we usually ignore that are absolutely engrossing once you take the time to focus on them,” says artist John Kannenberg, who’s been recording museum noise for 15 years. “Standing in a space like the Great Court at the British Museum is so amazing to me — all that reverb and swampy, thick and thin sound. Sitting in a very quiet gallery while people whisper to each other, that dense amount of silence with wispy little bits of unintelligible dialogue, practically gives me goosebumps.”

Last month Kannenberg released “A Sound Map of the Art Institute of Chicago” with 3LEAVES, a Hungarian label focused on field-recording-based sound art. The hourlong soundscape is Kannenberg’s second in a series of museum portraits using their quiet and cacophonous elements. Back in 2011, also with 3LEAVES, he released a sound map of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the project that started him on turning his museum field recordings into psychogeographies of the institutions.

Smuggling his audio recorder into the Egyptian Museum by pretending it was a phone, Kannenberg returned over and over to different spaces, listening to the gasp of controlled air systems in the mummy chambers and the blistering pops of the old fluorescent lights. “Months later, when I started editing, I began trying to piece together a very linear walkthrough of the galleries, but it didn’t feel right — it didn’t seem to accurately reflect the memory of how I felt while I was in the museum,” he told Hyperallergic. “So I scrapped that and began listening even more closely to the forms of the sounds, then pieced them together in a way that I thought sounded engaging while communicating the different emotions I felt while spending time in the museum, which led me straight to psychogeography.”

Psychogeography, that catchall term for mapping through an alternative sense of time and place, does seem especially suited to museums, with their rhythm of preserving a set, specific history while visitors rotate in a performative state. “When I’m in a museum, time seems to act differently: I lose track of it completely, and yet if I’m inside a history museum I’m intensely aware of time as a concept, so there are these two parallel experiences of time going on in my mind,” Kannenberg explained. “And I think a large part of that involves the sensory experience inside museums — losing yourself in a crowd, hearing massive amounts of reverb in huge spaces, then walking into a tiny gallery with only three people in it and everyone’s whispering and you become intensely aware of every sound in the room.”

The sound map of the Art Institute of Chicago (the artist’s current home city) feels immediately familiar as a museum: the build and hush of voices from entryway to gallery, the snippet of conversation from a tour group, the clicks of digital cameras, sirens from outside blaring into the space, lunch at the cafe, even a cameo of Lindsey Buckingham walking by a Henry Moore sculpture. Kannenberg spent time in almost every part of the museum in the spring and summer of 2013, from its original building to the 2009 Renzo Piano–designed Modern Wing, wrestling the sprawl of sound down to a single composed hour.

 

A SOUND MAP OF THE ART INSTITUE OF CHICAGO | ALL THINGS METAL

Review by Ron Schepper on 25th July 2014

"Australia-based sound artist Martin Kay's self-expressed intention for All Things Metal (200 copies) is to “highlight the unique ability that metal possesses in abstracting, transforming, and reconfiguring a given landscape—propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments.” The listener certainly comes away from the recording newly sensitized to how pervasive metal's presence is within our urban environments (the fact that the settings were recorded in different locales, among them Tokyo and Australia, implies a global pervasiveness, too). But more importantly, the fifty-minute recording, whose twelve pieces Kay produced over a five-year span, prompts us to reconsider how metal's sound properties can translate into listening experiences that allow us to experience physical phenomena with fresh ears; that he generally leaves the recorded audio-montages in an un-mixed and un-edited form only serves to heighten that impression. Kay, to cite one example, shows that source material as mundane as a metal wheel rolling along a concrete floor (“Dumbbell Rolling”) can turn into an engrossing vignette of spindly micro-noise.

Listening to “Stadium Support Pillar,” no one would conclude that its muffled and softly clangorous sounds are actually recordings two contact microphones made of the vibrations of a football crowd leaving the stadium after a game. Similarly, the creaking noise within “Rolling Out the Pool Cover” could pass for a beginning violinist's tentative scrape with a bow as much as the sound of a pool cover's wheel being rotated by hand. Deprived of the track title, one would guess that the clatter rumbling through “Two Storage Boxes” could have been generated by any number of possible objects, though in this case it was two iron boxes underneath whose lids Kay positioned microphones to record vibrations generated by wind, birds, dogs, and children. In like manner, what sounds elsewhere like a furious percussion duel turns out to be rain striking an iron gutter. That the track titles Kay uses are so direct and prosaic suggests a conviction that the material is interesting enough on its own terms that clever titles aren't necessary, and one comes away from the recording reminded that elaborate processing and editing treatments aren't necessarily required for the alien character of the created world to be brought forth.

American sound artist John Kannenberg also appears to have selected the most straightforward of titles for his A Sound Map of The Art Institute Of Chicago (200 copies), the second installment in an ongoing series of psychogeographic sound maps of museums, but things are not entirely as they seem in this case. Were one to simply listen to the recording without reviewing the booklet details, one would presume that what is being presented is an hour-long tour through the architectural site that begins outside on Michigan Avenue and concludes with the visitor exiting onto Monroe Street. But after studying the floorplans and the sound map timecodes provided by Kannenberg, one soon realizes that the presentation, while it convincingly creates an impression of seamless movement through the building, breaks away from linear travel and includes a number of jump cuts that in physical terms are impossible. Often a transition will occur that seems to suggest the movement from one room to the one next to it but is actually a movement that sees the listener transported in one second to a different floor at the opposite side of the building. Twenty minutes into the recording, for example, we're viewing African art in Gallery 137 on a southern wing on the first floor and then a moment later are transported to Gallery 213 on a west wing on the second floor where we're admiring Dutch art whilst eavesdropping on a father-daughter conversation.

Not only that, the sound map, whose contents Kannenberg recorded using an Olympus LS-10 portable digital recorder, draws upon material collected on multiple dates, specifically six days between May and July in 2013, and so once again the initial impression of a real-time visit is shown to be mistaken. As Kannenberg himself writes, the hours of secretly captured source recordings were edited to create a “highly composed, but unprocessed, hour-long impossible journey through the Art Institute of Chicago's original building and its 2009 Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing addition.”

It's interesting that the presentation exemplifies both order and chaos, order in the general structure that comes from framing the visit with an entrance and exit and chaos in the non-linear flow that occurs within the building. Obviously Kannenberg isn't interested in creating a sound map reflecting a visitor's literal movement through the space; instead, he works with his components much as a composer sequences smaller cells into a satisfying whole. Stated otherwise, one might think of Kannenberg as a composer who works with field recording details rather than musical notation and instrument sounds.

A stereophonic exercise in constant stimulation, the sound map is punctuated with many interesting details, among them sirens, bucket drummers, and a saxophone player (outside), admonitions from security guards, crowd babble, and commentaries by lecturers, plus sounds sourced from an escalator, exhaust fan, buzzing fluorescent sign, an artwork-carrying lift (uncannily similar to a dental drill), Kannenberg's footsteps, and even those of Fleetwood Mac's Lindsay Buckingham walking by. The ebb and flow of crowd noise as well as footsteps strengthens the impression of movement from one gallery to another, and one comes way from the recording dazzled by the abundance of panoramic sound detail the visitor to the institute would expect to experience on any given day. Though the recording wasn't created to promote the institution necessarily, it ends up doing so in making the idea of visiting it and viewing its collection (Seurat, Kandinsky, Hockney, Richter, etc.) so appealing."

 

Mathieu Ruhlmann | THIS STAR TEACHES BENDING

Review by Jesse Goin on 17th Jan 2014

"I cannot be understood at all on this earth, for I live as much with the dead as with the unborn.
Somewhat closer to the heart of creation than usual, but not nearly close enough.
~ Paul Klee (words used as his epitath)

The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed.
But a storm is blowing in from paradise, it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them.
~ Walter Benjamin, writing upon Klee's death in 1940 about Klee's Angelus Novus.

This Star Teaches Bending is Vancouver sound artist Mathieu Ruhlmann's audio documentaton of the corporeality and spaces of his mother's final days in 2012. Valerie Joy was diagnosed with a lung disease that introduced into her life the battery of machines the dying are often tethered to at the end of days. Anyone who has been present in those rooms, and sat cumbrously amid their hoses, lines -in and -out, and medical monitor displays, knows these sounds in a visceral way. Ruhlmann chose to capture them with pickups and mics, offering them here as the music of aspirations, deep-throated rattles, amplified emptied stomach and, widening the frame,  footfalls, banal traffic noise, and the continual presence of room tones.
The sounds might be regarded as an audio death mask, their traces and resonances at once discomfiting and entirely abstract.

Ruhlmann selected as titles for his five tracks titles Paul Klee gave some of the paintings he made in his final year of life. There is, in Ruhlmann's brief note about Klee found inside Akos Garai's beautifully designed CD booklet, a sense of admiration for Klee's five year-long dedication to making art while suffering an illness without a cure - more precisely, suffering purposefully, as the last paintings and works on paper reveal. 

This Star Teaches Bending joins a growing number of releases of abstract music issued from a musician's personal losses - notably, Tilbury and Rowe's Duos For Doris, Jason Kahn's Vanishing Point, Jason Lescalleet's The Pilgrim - and may well generate fruitful conversations about the fact that a document like this exists at all. It is, of course, a terribly intimate listening experience, bringing Valerie Joy's dying out of the isolation of those rooms, with that equipment that sounds like it owns a life coterminus with her own. 

Ruhlmann's documentary of the magnified sounds of his mother's living-into- dying might well stand as a strong work of abstract music heard sans the personal narrative. I'll never know - I first heard it upon arriving home in July 2013 from Las Vegas, where I spent three days at the hospital bedside of my dying mother-in-law, Lynne. As family gathered amid a battery of blinking, ceaselessly noisy medical machines, Lynne died at age 63, the same age as Valerie Joy. Returning home from that experience, I found a package from Ruhlmann in the post; This Star Teaches Bending may well have been the first music I heard just days after Lynne's death, I can't recall. I cannot pretend to hear it unmoored from that experience.

This star has taught Mathieu Ruhlmann to bend himself to a most personal, most ordinary, experience, the loss of a beloved, which he offers here as truly extraordinary music."

 

Bjarni Gunnarsson | PROCESSES & POTENTIALS

Review by Ingo J. Biermann on 5th Jan 2014

"Ambient Noise (or Noise-Ambient) from Iceland you get (unfortunately?) Not every day heard. Ever seems in Scandinavia this genre to have produced only a few representatives. Bjarni Gunnarsson from Reykjavik directly succeeded with his first solo album, the "SAFN collection to make 2006-2009 'attention to himself in the scene. The second, however, he is more than a strong accent -. "PROCESSES & POTENTIAL" can convincingly compete with the greats of the genre, especially with the work of Mika Vainios alias Ø, who published in the current year equal to three very different albums quite as in the stylistic width as the Finnish colleague does not go Gunnarsson course. Its just under fifty minutes dense CD impresses nevertheless characterized by a strong own attitude and language. Even if the sound images partly sharp and aggressive approach, impress the six tracks by a peculiarly sovereign inner calm and far-flowing dramatic arcs. Beats (as in Pan Sonic or Vainio) are virtually not only before, but from the resultant between the poles of ambient and noise dynamics leaves, the album does have such an impact. The album will be released in a partly handmade Edition on Ákos Garais 3LEAVES label that has been written on the flag to support artists who are distinguished by a "certain sensitivity to their environment" and explore their relationship to this environment, in the form of music between sound art and field recordings.Sounds intellectually, and Gunnarsson can withstand with his approach effortlessly such a spiritual requirement;. Their musical results are, however, also to enjoy urgently without any background knowledge, at least if one appreciates bold intuitive styles and like to be lured out of the comfort zone."

 

Bjarni Gunnarsson | PROCESSES & POTENTIALS

Review by Tony Dickie on 3rd Jan 2014

"Processes & Potentials is the work of Icelandic composer Bjarni Gunnarsson. Gunnarsson works with process based ideas and Processes & Potentialsis concerned with internal activity and motion. The sounds are intricate and detailed but it's the drone that underpins much of this, cut with glitches, static surges, fizzing tones, and micro tones, both harsh and soft, that makes the entire thing sound cohesive. 

On 'Aukera' textured tones scrape and crackle with quieter passages of atmospheric hum, which shimmer and circle. It's physical, almost like Pan Sonic's experimental noise, but there are no dance beats or obvious melodies on Processes & Potentials to make this palatable. Processes & Potentialsis deeply immersive due to its intricate blending of micro detail. Sounds appear and reappear in what may appear an almost indiscriminate manner, but as Gunnarsson states "On this album it is important how sound processes behave, how they relate and how they occur. The seemingly organic sound-world of the work is all created from ideas that favour process-based approach to sound and composition." You could listen to Processes & Potentials on random, and the effect wouldn't be diminished, as Processes & Potentials is unified by its use of drones and tones. You can hear that in the following 'Portholes' which carries the crackling and atmospheric hum from the previous track, which at points is like raindrops falling into a industrial hinterland. At other times the sound is much more grainy. Even with its cut-ins and drop-outs there's a fluidity and a constant sense of motion, largely as a result of the drone that runs through most of this. For all of its theorizing, Processes & Potentials isn't even a dry listen. Much of it tends towards harsher sounds, sometimes dropped-in abruptly alongside some hazy droning atmospherics. There's much here that noise and experimental listeners would enjoy. 

While much of Processes & Potentials tend towards abrasive sounds, 'Momentaries', starts off more serene with its airy atmospheric hum like oozing gas, as gentle shimmers contrast with the industrialised factory noises and crackling textures. The changes in sound get sharper, and more explosive before its cuts back to the atmospheric hum. The hum continues through 'Signac' but here it's riddled with fizzing effects and reverberating tones. Much more processed sounding is 'Concomitance' with its filtering of sine waves, against a deep, pulsing tone. Brief snatches of airy atmospherics and harsher tones break through to provide a direct lineage to earlier tracks. The final piece, 'Pedicel', moves from harsh panning drones littered with hiss and crackle, which cuts to an assemblage of abrupt changing textures with a ringing atmospheric drone that gets progressively louder cut with abrasive layers. 

Over its 6 tracks you could argue that Processes & Potentials doesn't really deviate from its core sounds but Gunnarsson varies the tones and timbres throughout. It is it's reliance on drones and tones that results in its cohesiveness that veer towards the harsher ends of the noise spectrum which should appeal to noise and experimental listeners. Academics and sound theorists may think otherwise. Whether this is true of Bjarni Gunnarsson's previous work I can't say but Processes & Potentials delivers enough abrasive sounds to warrant the attention of our readers. "

 

Tristan Louth-Robins | THE PATH DESCRIBED

Review by Ron Schepper on 1st Jan 2014

"In an introduction included within The Path Described, Australian sound artist Tristan Louth-Robins waxes nostalgic for the relative purity of the natural sounds which surrounded him when he called Normanville, a small coastal town on the western side of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, home. Field recordings made on the western and eastern coastlines of the peninsula as well as the lower lake regions adjoining Lake Alexandrina and the Coorong National Park form the core of the three long-form settings featured on the thirty-five-minute 3LEAVES release. In some ways, it's a standard field recordings-based work in its emphasis on natural sounds of water and bird and insect species (faint traces of, in Louth-Robins' words, “the clamour of the man-made world,” also surface now and then), but it's also an engaging one, especially when the text and photos included with the release are factored in.

Though Louth-Robins has provided detailed text that clarifies what is happening at each stage within the tracks (and where, as GPS coordinates are also included), one obviously can choose to either listen while following along with the text or experience the three settings on purely sonic grounds (in what follows, I chose to record impressions not supplemented by Louth-Robins' commentary). That precise locations have been provided by Louth-Robins means that, if one wished to do so, one could re-trace the various routes captured in the recording.

“Fleurieu W. (Across Two Bays)” immediately transports the listener to an outdoors setting where waves crash amidst bird cries, the seeming near proximity of the water heightening the visceral intensity of the sound material. As the water burbles so loudly that all other sounds are drowned out, some sense of disorientation sets in, making it unclear whether one is standing on the shoreline or beneath the water's surface—until bird sounds appear to clarify that one must be above though still close to the water (even if exactly where can't be determined as it's equally possible that we're in a boat as ashore). The immersive journey continues, with water always the dominant element despite the occasional re-emergence of bird and distant traffic sounds. “Fleurieu E. (Across Two Islands)” perpetuates the water-heavy focus of the first track by plunging into a part of a river that's at first turbulent and then becalmed, so much so that one's attention shifts to bird and crackle noises. A below-water plunge blocks out other sounds before a resurfacing brings back in faint traces of humanity and the chirp and percussive gobble of various bird types. With the quiet simmer of water in the background, aggressive caws inhabit the forefront of the listening space, suggesting that the creatures are close, perhaps uncomfortably so, to the listener. “Alexandrina Flux” begins with a violent intermixture of water and bird noises before widening the panorama to include wind sounds, near-subliminal dog barks, traffic noise, and a dense, electrified array of insect thrum and chirp—a gradual hydrology-to-entemology transition deftly executed by Louth-Robins.

As mentioned, for listeners keen on matching the sound material to specific locales and for acquiring in-depth info about the sounds recorded, the textual commentary included in the booklet offers precise details regarding where the field recordings were captured. One learns, for example, that “Fleurieu W. (Across Two Bays)” opens in the early morning on a bridge overlooking the Bungala River and that bird types heard are crows and finches, and that “Fleurieu E. (Across Two Islands)” comes to an end on a long sandbar near the Murray Mouth where gulls, pelicans, cormorants, and finches gather. On a final note, the conjunction of photography and sound also works remarkably well in this particular case."

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