LOCKWOOD, ANNEA: A Sound Map of the Danube (3-CDs)
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A 2 hour, 47 minute aural journey along the length of the Donau, Europe's second longest river that runs from Germany through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, finally winding out into the Black Sea, collaged from recordings made during 5 trips in 3 years by Annea Lockwood, one of the early sound pioneers (soon to be 70). It's a work that has the pace and wisdom one would like to hope age will confer. As water seen day by day, water heard too constantly mutates, bound into the sounds around it: fields, settlements, insects, birds, boats and bells; it takes its own time, navigating endless bends and the occasional lock or weir. These are intimate recordings made from the banks, sometimes dipping beneath the surface of the water. Thirteen short interviews appear en route (translated in the accompanying documentation), but mostly the river just rolls on, endlessly changing. It's a joy. These are sounds graven into our genes and speak to ancient human instincts; they collapse a fleeting sense of linear time into an ageless, endless present. Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever, as we all learned in school (at least we did when poetry was thought of as something of value). There's also a foldout map, and useful notes. It's not art, but then art isn't everything. Or perhaps, if art is the transfiguration of time, this is art; just a new kind of art. PS. What this work is not is a sound map of The Danube - a river that runs through several capital cities and many large and small conurbations. So far as possible Lockwood avoids anything indicating urban life or anything that would let you know it was not still the C18. What is human is mostly represented in the ubiquitous sound of near or distant bells. This CD is deeper and more primal than a mere collation of documentary sounds.