This release involved a lot of sliding about in freezing mud on steep inclines. Born out of a residency at Joya arte ecologia in Velez Blanco in southern Spain where I decided to undertake a sonic transect of the mountain facing the villa in which I lived. Over the next two weeks I lugged my equipment up and down the mountain, pausing every 100 metres to sample or attempt to 'play' a very precise and small location.
In this way this release attempts to stitch together a mountain pass in sound, a succession of played and recorded sonic niches from the radio in the villa on the valley floor, to the vibrating low-growing woody shrubs braving the rocky peak.
The mountain and valley in which I was staying were extremely quiet. It was winter when I was there, and extremely cold, often rainy and with howling winds. The fine soil produced a clay like mud which coated my shoes so thickly I ended out several inches taller after I set out each day.
This was a very strange and isolated location. No-one lived nearby except for a one-eyed dog on a chain, and the nearest town was more than an hour walk. There was mainly just wind, mud, and the odd wire fence or cryptic red sign post. I didn't know until towards the end of my stay at Joya, but the signs denoted that the mountain was a hunting ground for local residents at various points of the year, and boar were quite common there, although I never saw any, and only very few birds, whose calls were often muffled by the wind. The only exception being the mighty black vultures which flew over the crest of the mountain, and could be identified by the whistling beat of their wings.
It was all a little bit Mordor-esque to be honest, setting out each day to climb a grey slippery mountain with my backpack full of quite heavy gear, my mud laden boots and my quest to make a sonic transect. 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 pine cones. So this is a transect of a journey, and the sounds I made in making this journey.
It is a quiet and strange document I think, which I hope conveys something about remoteness, and a sense of a physical journey through a very specific landscape via sound.
Kate Carr, October, 2017.
released November 15, 2017
Recordings taken in 2015 in Velez Blanco Spain.
Composed and mastered by Kate Carr.
Art by Kate Carr, which includes drawings of each transect recording location.
supported by 12 fans who also own “From A Wind Turbine To Vultures (And Back)”
I did not find this the easiest or most immediate album to get into on first listen, but on repeated listens it is really growing on me. Moody Iranian experimental ambient with scraping/droning strings, field recordings, noise, hypnotic folky vocals, and a slightly chaotic, dislocated vibe all of its own. Unusual, haunting, and recommended if you have time to dig past the surface. Very rewarding. David Smith