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Dan Powell * Kate Carr * Abby Lee Tee

Kate Carr Wind Turbine



In february 2017, Dan Powell took a walk to the sea at Cuckmere Haven – ‘the only undeveloped river mouth on the Sussex coast’. He recorded the audio and collected objects along the way, which he used as a source material to combine with the original recordings of the environment.
The result is the 16 minute electro-acoustic work A Walk To The Sea: Exceat To The Coastguard Cottages: a somewhat unsettling combination of environmental recordings and musique concrête.

There is no further information about the second track, Cable Hut 14, but the title leads us to the former cable station for telegraph lines to France at the same location: ‘one of the most intriguing secrets of Cuckmere Haven.’
We are left wondering how the sounds from this hut originated but one thing is certain: you wouldn’t want to try to sleep there!

At Cuckmere is a free/ Name Your Price download from Crónica

Kate Carr Wind Turbine


Perhaps it’s a good advice to put on your coat or an extra sweater before you start listening to this album, because it feels like a rather cold and windy affair (even though the location recordings were made in Velez Blanco in Southern Spain.

For this (almost documentary) recording, Kate Carr had a clear concept: creating a ‘mountain pass’ in sound, following a transect (‘a straight line or narrow section through an object or natural feature or across the earth’s surface, along which observations are made or measurements taken’) of the mountain and pausing every 100 meters to record the sound of that particular spot.
Ten locations for the climb up (Ascent), and another ten for the way back (Descent).

“The result of this repeated journey is this release which explores 10 sonic niches, in an attempt to chart the changing sonic environments in this extreme environment. These locations were both recorded straight and ‘played’ via activities ranging from vibrating the hunting signs, to rolling pines cones.”

Because of the manipulation of some of the objects in the surroundings, this journey is a mixture of natural sounds with abstract, unusual elements. The result is an eerie feeling of remoteness, seemingly disconnected from anything human.

Herbert's Archive


Of the set mentioned here, Herbert’s Archive is arguably the closest to ‘true’ environmental recordings. Except for the fact that this set ‘of obscure sounds performed by Asian small-clawed otters, donkeys, pigs, chickens or corncrakes, interwoven with gurgling waterpipes, sizzling streams and underwater percussion’ is just as manipulatively arranged as this description suggests.

The Herbert refers to the Austrian musician’s favorite recording device he recorded this collection with.
This short (2 tracks, 20 minutes) cassette release (no digital release as far as I know) is the follow-up on Tee’s earlier release Riverside Burrows, presenting a nice image of nature’s alternate reality.. (perhaps we should call this ‘fake nature’ from now on…).


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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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