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Sounds of Mmabolela

by Nikki Sheth

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Paddabolela 06:45
Limpopo 04:53
Mmabolela 12:35


Sounds of Mmabolela transports the listener to the Limpopo bushveld on the border of South Africa and Botswana. With recordings taken during the Sonic Mmabolela residency at Mmabolela Estates, Limpopo in 2017, the sounds have been transformed and sculpted to create an immersive listening experience of the natural soundscapes. Immerse yourself in the sounds of hippos, crocodiles, frogs, birds, cicadas, insects and more.

Paddabolela (frogs – speak to me) takes the listener on a journey through the different sound worlds of the South African terrain. There is a strong sense of ambiguity and interplay between the natural, realistic soundscape and something darker and more mysterious, reflecting the experience of being in this new, unknown place. Limpopo is a hyper-reality of the natural rhythmical biophonies and spectral ranges found in the soundscape heard during our time at the Mmabolela Estates. It was composed by isolating rhythmic voices of the natural world and reconstructing the soundscape to draw upon and intertwine these unique voices. From the palm-strewn banks of the Limpopo River to the dark depths of the Hippo Pool, Mmabolela transports the listener through a series of interweaving snapshots of this time and place.

With thanks to everyone who inspired me on this journey, my family and my Mmabolela family.

Nikki Sheth, Birmingham, 2020.
Nikki Sheth is a sound artist based in Birmingham, UK. She uses field recordings to produce site-specific soundscape works. Her practice involves extensive field recording, multi-channel soundscape composition, multimedia installations and soundwalking. She has been on field recording residencies around the world and her installation and sound works have been presented internationally. She was awarded a Sound and Music award in 2020, nominated for the Phonurgia Nova Awards in the ‘Field Recording: Soundscape’ category in 2020 and was an Honourable Mention for the Sound of the Year Awards in the ‘Composed with Sound’ category in 2021.
This work was originally released on Rummage Records in 2020, this is a re-release after that label closed suddenly.


released September 3, 2021


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Flaming Pines London, UK

“Flaming Pines is itself a topography of hidden global sounds." The Wire.

We are a label focused on field recording, sound art and experimental ambient music.

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