The first reviews for my composition The Great Silence have been posted on various websites. It is encouraging to see that reviewers have taken the time to listen to the work in such a contemplative way. To read more about the composition please scroll down to the next post.
Following are excerpts from the reviews and some nocturnal field recordings included in The Great Silence:
López … presents the kind of soundscape the first colonialists would have encountered, one which, needless to say, is anything but silent. A nocturnal recording, The Great Silence thus presents a forty-minute sound portrait of crickets, cicadas, frogs, and fruit-bats that sees their individuating voices coalescing into a vibrant mosaic of natural richness. If ever a field recordings project were meant to be heard in a state of total darkness and at peak volume, it’s this work, as doing so will make one feel as if one’s been airlifted to Australia and dropped into the very storm-drenched setting those colonialists would have found themselves within hundreds of years ago. … The multi-layered thrum of bird and insect sounds cumulatively present a dazzling web of detail that can’t help but be engrossing for the active listener.
From A Closer Listen:
The Great Silence builds as it progresses, in the same manner that one’s awareness of one’s aural environment builds with time, attention, and one’s own silence … The 40-minute piece begins with the familiar sounds of crickets and cicadas, soon joined by frogs and fruit bats. But when the thunder begins to roll midway through the recording, unidentified wildlife coos and cries. Were these creatures hidden in the forest the whole time? One suspects that even Lopez might not be able to name every source, and therein lies both the triumph and tragedy of the recording. Other sounds were once here as well: now-extinct flora and fauna, original resonances, Aboriginal languages. The colonists robbed history of its stories and sounds, first labeling them as silence and then creating the silence themselves, fulfilling their own dark prophecy. Lopez’ profound statement returns a fragment of their voice: The Great Australian Silence, silent no more.
From Avant Music News:
Jay-Dea López presents a pristine field recording of the ”great silence” that reigned and that provoked such a negative reaction from the colonists, leading to a cultural contempt for the land and the civilization of its habitants, to whom the land spoke and sang. Of course it is anything but silent, as a brook burbles and choruses of frogs croak and cicadas whirr and crickets chirp and halfway through, thunder rolls off in the distance. Otherwise untreated, it is López´ intention to protest the quashing of the aborigines and the encylopedic knowledge of a land that would soon no longer be theirs. A simple but effective act, beautiful to hear.
From Des Coulam:
In The Great Silence, Australian sound artist, Jay-Dea López, has created an Australian soundscape anchored in the present but very much of the past. It’s the type of composition at which López excels. … In ‘The Great Silence’ Jay-Dea López captures both the timeless natural sounds of Australia and their resounding cultural echoes in a characteristically sensitive and engaging way.
To purchase The Great Silence please visit the 3Leaves website.
One thought on “The Great Silence: field recordings and reviews”
Great work Jay-Dea!