Kate Carr – Fabulations

There are many different kind of Field Recordings. Often, environmental recordings are used to enhance or manipulate the (background) atmosphere of musical compositions. At other moments, the goal is recording the sound of a particular environment as detailed as possible to reproduce it ‘as it is’.  Also some collages of field recordings that become a musical composition in itself, thus creating a world that only exists in the imagination of the listener.

Kate Carr has been recording and publishing ‘environmental music’ since 2010. Or, to be more exact: from 2010 she has been “investigating the intersections between sound, environmentalism and technology both as an artist and a curator.”

“I use sound to interrogate the ways we come to understand, cherish and mark special places whether these be sites of important memories, or everyday places which soothe. I’m interested in the ways we get lost in places physically and emotionally and the ways we find our way again.”

Apart from that, she was also founder of the Flaming Pines label, “one of the leading proponents of experimental/ambient music centred on an exploration of place.”

Kate Carr‘s new album Fabulations, however, is not released on “Flaming Pines”, but on the “Soft Recordings” label, a French label run by David Teboul (aka Linear Bells).

Impeccably mastered (as always) by Taylor Deupree, this album takes you on a journey to unexpected and nonexistent places.
“A soundtrack for made up stories set in out of the way places”, for which the basic sound recordings were made in Marseille, Nice, Cefalu, Catania, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dungun and Barcelona.

Some atmospheric instrumental layers are added, but the environmental recordings are nót the background for those instrumental parts – it’s the other way around: the environmental soundscape is the composition at the centre of attention – the musical parts are added to the background to enhance their impact.

Creating her narrative environmental soundscapes this way, Kate Carr takes the concept of environmental soundscapes to a whole different level.

At the end of every year,  everyone remotely involved with music seems to be obsessed with creating all kinds of ‘end-of-year’ lists. Releasing an album in the very last week of the year means it’ll probably fall through the cracks of those lists: too late for the 2014 list, and to early for next year’s. I have no doubt that Fabulationswould’ve been included in many lists if it had been released earlier.
But now that it hasn’t: just forget about your lists and start listening again.

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