Tuesday, 24 June 2008

new release of note: Marc Namblard - 'Chants of frozen lakes'

click here for more info.

Coming soon will be an interview with Marc & Yannick Dauby (this release is the first full cd on his Kalerne editions label)

Marc Namblard, sound artist and naturalist living in the northeast of France, has spent several years listening to and recording an acoustic phenomenon occurring in the winter time. The tiniest crackles inside the ice of frozen lakes produce mechanical vibrations. Under specific atmospheric conditions, these impulses propagate in the ice, whose tension makes it similar to the skin of a drum. (from the Kalerne website)
First, one has to listen to this disc enough times for the initial curiosity to subside. The strange, elastic sounding twangs of the ice seem impossible to capture without the use of contact mics. However the sleeve notes make it clear that all the sounds here were recorded using condenser mics. Similar sounds, although with a raw edge, have also been captured by Andreas Bick & can be heard as part of his 'fire pattern - frost pattern' composition here.
Once one gets over that first enjoyment of the simple sounds it's possible to discover whether this release offers more, stands as something more than a document of the sounds. It does.
During the 55 minute duration (extracted from hours of recordings made on the 16th January 2006) the piece moves forward, holding the listeners attention and offering much from repeated hearings. From the first sounds of the frost crossing paths with the plants surrounding the lac de Pierre Precee, to the increasing effects of the sun on the ice sheets, the tension building and broken and finally disappearing, I'd say this is a cd that got the release it deserved and does that difficult thing - it documents a natural sound phenomenon and represents the artists practice without either overpowering the result for the listener.

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