Silent Spring is a meditation on human and natural sounds, new technologies, and our relationships with other species.
It comprises three pieces Icelandic Reveries, Silent Spring and Strange Birds, composed from recordings taken at a hydroelectric dam in Iceland, wind turbine farms in the Terra Alta region Spain and acts of sounding and listening in the Brazilian Amazon, respectively. The first two pieces reflect on the impact of new renewable energy sources, tracing not only the sonic impact of these structures on other species, but the ways in which the soundscape is able to communicate broader structural and environmental changes associated with the introduction of these technologies. In Terra Alta, in Spain, where Silent Spring was composed Linda writes:
"The introduction of wind turbines has changed the natural soundscape, with the constant presence of their whirring sound. The crickets are louder, the birds quieter, the change in economic practices from farming to wind turbine systems on the landscape has resulted in fewer jobs for young men and women with a radically reduced agricultural economy. The villages become quieter with young people moving to the cities. This work documents the different spaces of sound in the region from country bars, to festivals, crickets to turbines, it’s a collage of the sounds that are disappearing over time with the emergence of one dominant tech sound."
While the final piece, which incorporates recordings taken in the Amazon, is centred on listening to the mixed natural and human soundscapes of the Amazon in the state of Amazonas in Brazil, a process which culminated in an act of connection, a scream into the forest, met with screams in return.
released October 14, 2019
All tracks by Linda O'Keeffe
Mastered by Tony Doyle
Photography and design: Kate Carr
Special thanks: I would like to acknowledge the support of arts council England in developing the work Strange Birds. A special thanks also to Rebecca for screaming with me in the dark.
I would also like to thank Tony Doyle for doing the final mastering of these audio tracks, for listening to every iteration, and giving amazing feedback.