the 2nd Chris
Watson CD Outside the Circle of Fire was released, many people commented
upon the proximity of these close-up wildlife recordings to the sounds that
were being explored in so-called laptop music. We thought wed
invite some artists who we were in contact with with to make their responses,
giving them carte-blanche to do what they liked with Chris source
Mika Vainio was the first to respond in May 1998. His DAT arrived the same week as a presentation of Touch works at The School of Sound, a symposium dedicated to the art of using sound alongside moving image. Walter Murch, Peter Kubelka and Mike Figgis were amongst the many involved. Mikas track might be a coda to the intense soundscapes of Edward Artemyev in Tarkovskys Stalker.
Philip Jeck used two recordings from Outside the Circle of Fire, Male capercallie display and Red rumped tinkerbird. Hazard chose Deathwatch beetles and Spotted hyena. Fennesz transformed the Mozambique Nightjar, feeding its call through a home-made valve amplifier.
Cassarina: thick hurdles of thorn and scrub enclose the domestic circles, every one and every animal must be in by night fall. The herders drive all before them through the edges of village twilight - voices carrying on a strong draft of temperature inversion. There is a rush, a cool anticipation, the hillside is left to the leopard. [Mera, Rajasthan - March 2002]
In AERs track,
a goat herd is being shepherded into its night-time pen near Argostoli
on the island of Cephalonia. The recording is a travesty of the careful
microphone techniques outlined by Watson in Stepping into the Dark
immediately you (quite) delicately approach grazing goats, they zoom off
suddenly in the opposite direction. Greek legend speaks of the goat-owl,
who may be a goatsucker: the owl swoops down to suck on the
milk of a she-goat. Watsons recording of tawny owls created strange
beating patterns with these apprehensive, jingle-belled beasts
once I got them home.
photo: Parliament Hill, London, during the partial eclipse of 11 August 1999