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Sleeping Dogs Lie 22jan10: Annea Lockwood

Annea-Lockwood-1On this formidable 3-disc release for Lovely Music, Annea Lockwood revisits techniques utilized in her “Sound Map of the Hudson;” albeit in far greater depth and the inclusion of interviews with Danube bank inhabitants.

Spanning five separate trips to the Danube, and comprising 59 sites and 13 interviews, Lockwood is able to convey not only some of the majesty of this exercise, but provide a fascinating voice to her subject. Most interesting is Lockwood’s willingness to allow her work to be shaped and informed by the Danube itself– rather than stressing the ordinary role of the “artist-as-communicator,” Lockwood acts as more of a translator and sounding board– posing the question, “what is a river?” Lockwood allows the Danube (and those nearby) to answer.

In a society where we all too often impart our own desires for relaxation on every natural recording, “A Sound Map of the Danube” is a refreshing assertion of sounds’ own life and drive, in contrast to the usual belief in field recordings as mere raw material for later manipulation. Even the personal interviews reflect this to a point. Without an audible translator, listeners are free to consider the voices musically, and seem encouraged to by their being interwoven with the natural sounds. Later on, the liner notes can be consulted, revealing a full-size foldout map of the recording sites along the Danube and English-language translations of all interview subjects.

As can be expected, I am highly impressed with this release, and eagerly encourage you to check it out. As a musical document, Lockwood subtly demonstrates the power of listening; and as a sort of impressionistic journalism, she has gathered evidence of not only our influence upon the river, but its workings upon us. (startlingmoniker.wordpress.com)

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 15jan10: Annea Lockwood

Annea-Lockwood-1On this formidable 3-disc release for Lovely Music, Annea Lockwood revisits techniques utilized in her “Sound Map of the Hudson;” albeit in far greater depth and the inclusion of interviews with Danube bank inhabitants.

Spanning five separate trips to the Danube, and comprising 59 sites and 13 interviews, Lockwood is able to convey not only some of the majesty of this exercise, but provide a fascinating voice to her subject. Most interesting is Lockwood’s willingness to allow her work to be shaped and informed by the Danube itself– rather than stressing the ordinary role of the “artist-as-communicator,” Lockwood acts as more of a translator and sounding board– posing the question, “what is a river?” Lockwood allows the Danube (and those nearby) to answer.

In a society where we all too often impart our own desires for relaxation on every natural recording, “A Sound Map of the Danube” is a refreshing assertion of sounds’ own life and drive, in contrast to the usual belief in field recordings as mere raw material for later manipulation. Even the personal interviews reflect this to a point. Without an audible translator, listeners are free to consider the voices musically, and seem encouraged to by their being interwoven with the natural sounds. Later on, the liner notes can be consulted, revealing a full-size foldout map of the recording sites along the Danube and English-language translations of all interview subjects.

As can be expected, I am highly impressed with this release, and eagerly encourage you to check it out. As a musical document, Lockwood subtly demonstrates the power of listening; and as a sort of impressionistic journalism, she has gathered evidence of not only our influence upon the river, but its workings upon us. (startlingmoniker.wordpress.com)

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 08jan10: Annea Lockwood (repeat of 18dec09)

Annea-Lockwood-1On this formidable 3-disc release for Lovely Music, Annea Lockwood revisits techniques utilized in her “Sound Map of the Hudson;” albeit in far greater depth and the inclusion of interviews with Danube bank inhabitants.

Spanning five separate trips to the Danube, and comprising 59 sites and 13 interviews, Lockwood is able to convey not only some of the majesty of this exercise, but provide a fascinating voice to her subject. Most interesting is Lockwood’s willingness to allow her work to be shaped and informed by the Danube itself– rather than stressing the ordinary role of the “artist-as-communicator,” Lockwood acts as more of a translator and sounding board– posing the question, “what is a river?” Lockwood allows the Danube (and those nearby) to answer.

In a society where we all too often impart our own desires for relaxation on every natural recording, “A Sound Map of the Danube” is a refreshing assertion of sounds’ own life and drive, in contrast to the usual belief in field recordings as mere raw material for later manipulation. Even the personal interviews reflect this to a point. Without an audible translator, listeners are free to consider the voices musically, and seem encouraged to by their being interwoven with the natural sounds. Later on, the liner notes can be consulted, revealing a full-size foldout map of the recording sites along the Danube and English-language translations of all interview subjects.

As can be expected, I am highly impressed with this release, and eagerly encourage you to check it out. As a musical document, Lockwood subtly demonstrates the power of listening; and as a sort of impressionistic journalism, she has gathered evidence of not only our influence upon the river, but its workings upon us. (startlingmoniker.wordpress.com)

Sleeping Dogs Lie 123 17_18dec09

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 18dec09: Annea Lockwood

Annea-Lockwood-1On this formidable 3-disc release for Lovely Music, Annea Lockwood revisits techniques utilized in her “Sound Map of the Hudson;” albeit in far greater depth and the inclusion of interviews with Danube bank inhabitants.

Spanning five separate trips to the Danube, and comprising 59 sites and 13 interviews, Lockwood is able to convey not only some of the majesty of this exercise, but provide a fascinating voice to her subject. Most interesting is Lockwood’s willingness to allow her work to be shaped and informed by the Danube itself– rather than stressing the ordinary role of the “artist-as-communicator,” Lockwood acts as more of a translator and sounding board– posing the question, “what is a river?” Lockwood allows the Danube (and those nearby) to answer.

In a society where we all too often impart our own desires for relaxation on every natural recording, “A Sound Map of the Danube” is a refreshing assertion of sounds’ own life and drive, in contrast to the usual belief in field recordings as mere raw material for later manipulation. Even the personal interviews reflect this to a point. Without an audible translator, listeners are free to consider the voices musically, and seem encouraged to by their being interwoven with the natural sounds. Later on, the liner notes can be consulted, revealing a full-size foldout map of the recording sites along the Danube and English-language translations of all interview subjects.

As can be expected, I am highly impressed with this release, and eagerly encourage you to check it out. As a musical document, Lockwood subtly demonstrates the power of listening; and as a sort of impressionistic journalism, she has gathered evidence of not only our influence upon the river, but its workings upon us. (startlingmoniker.wordpress.com)

Sleeping Dogs Lie 123 17_18dec09

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 27: Annea Lockwood, Gavin Bryars with Tom Waits

Aboriginal didgeridoos, ‘conch shells’ (shells belonging to Hindu musical tradition, often played during religious ceremonies), ‘waterphones’ (water instruments, used in ambient music and derived from Tibetan musical instruments), and (but not only) ‘pod rattles’ (percussion instruments from Zimbabwe). All of this, together with more classic instruments (trombone, oboe) and some unusual ones (clarinet-contrabass), was skillfully organized to articulate the varied frame of this improvisational ensemble, centered around Annea Lockwood’s strong personality. Hypnotic sequences, rarefied and full of mysticism, dream-like atmospheres and breaths. When the contemporary nature of sounds is mixed with ancient energies, the results can be very interesting: it’s enough to shy away from new age excesses and pretentious spiritualities.

“Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet” late minimalist, 74-minute piece for orchestra and tape has had, and continues to have, a near-legendary effect on its audience. It’s the rare work created specifically to tug gently at one’s heartstrings that actually does, and not subtly, either. It starts with a found recording of a homeless man singing a halting, simple melody looped over and over. Then Bryars builds and buttresses this with a full orchestra brought in incrementally, from the first carefully placed short pendulum string sweep to, 10 minutes from the end, the gravelly-voiced singer Tom Waits joins in. It’s an obvious but effective work–appealing to all the basics of our emotional nervous system, but still tragically beautiful.

Jesus’ blood never failed me yet
Never failed me yet
Jesus’ blood never failed me yet
There’s one thing I know
For he loves me so …

01. Annea Lockwood: “Thousand Year Dreaming” (from “Thousand Year Dreaming”, Nonsequitur/What Next Recordings, 1993)
02. Gavin Bryars with Tom Waits: “Tramp And Tom Waits With Full Orchestra” (from “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet”, Point Music, 1993)

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 14: Annea Lockwood

An aural journey from the source of the river, in the high peak area of the Adirondacks, downstream to the Lower Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; Lockwood traces the course of the Hudson through on-site recordings of its flow at 15 separate locations. Annea Lockwood has recorded rivers in many countries to explore the special state of mind and body which the sounds of moving water create when one listens intently to the complex mesh of rhythms and pitches. The listener will find that each stretch of the Hudson has its own sonic texture, formed by the terrain, varying according to the weather, the season and downstream, the human environment whose sounds are intimately woven into the river’s sounds.

01. Annea Lockwood: “A Sound Map of the Hudson River” (from “A Sound Map of the Hudson River”, Lovely Music, 1989)

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