yannick dauby, john grzinich, murmer
lind, raud, aastaajad
ib005 - 2 cd set - 2012
edition of five hundred and nine
north america $15.50 USD
canada $20.00 USD
europe etc. $22.00 USD
invisible birds is very proud to announce the release of lind, raud, aastaajad, a 2 cd set of estonian recordings
from three masters : yannick dauby, john grzinich, and murmer.
disc 1 - yannick dauby : lind, raud - songs of birds and metal, recorded in Estonia in 2007.
disc 2 - yannick daubyy, john grzinich, and murmer : aastaajad - field recordings by john grzinich and murmer,
electronic sounds by yannick dauby.
two tracks composed by john grzinich, two tracks composed by patrick mcginley (aka murmer).
yannick dauby mentions in his notes that, while in estonia, john grzinich guided him through some of his most favorite
recording locations. it is in these locations where he feels the artist "becomes an instrument for the landscape".
the lind, raud, aastaajad recordings perfectly evoke the connection these three artists have to the landscape. in
specified locations and seasons, they compose rich sounds from birds, metal, rain, snow, footsteps, melodious wind,
water trickles, and more. the recordings subtly ensconce the listener in a sublime and poetic "view" of the landscape
if anything, the estonian countryside is quiet. the clockwork schedule of the network of rural buses and the cackle
of a black swan racing high above the trees is about all that you'll hear. i (jim) had the pleasure of experiencing
this estonian quietude a few years back, and i have to say that yannick dauby's collection of field recordings is way
more active than any i actually encountered. estonia is known for its avian diversity, although when i was there
during the brief transition from summer into winter (literally, three weeks!), the birds had all flown south... so
dauby must have been there in later spring or summertime as he does capture a number of chittering sounds from those
birds passing through from russia and finland to southern europe and north africa (or vice versa). between these avian
recordings, dauby documents another common denizen of the estonian countryside - the giant chunks of metal dumped un-
ceremoniously by the soviet agricultural industry. even without much wind, these abandoned grain silos and oil tanks
resonate with thick rumblings and subtle overtones, which dauby dutifully records with contact microphones. these
thrumming drones recall the alan lamb wire recordings as much as they do thomas köner's deep gong recordings.
disc one of this two disc set features dauby's "songs for birds and metal" while the second features reworkings of dauby's
source material by john grzinich and murmer (aka patrick mcgingley), both of whom have exceptional catalogues of electro-
organic compositions based often on phonography. grzinich's two lengthy pieces are quieter and more subtle, focusing on
the patter of dripping water and melting ice with flickering drones and harmonics forming arctic halos around those aquatic
textures. the two murmer tracks intensify things comparatively against grzinich's lowercase work, with thick drones amassed
around what sounds like somebody trekking through the deep snow. those coleclough / köner drones manifest ominous black
clouds and unsettled vibes, not heard elsewhere on the album and turning that estonian quiet into something haunting. all in
all, a magnificent piece of manipulated field recording and sound ecology.
~ jim haynes
following last weeks yannick dauby, here is more from him. before moving to taipei, he was in estonia for a while, which
made him friends with john grzinich and patrick mcginley, also known as murmer. if i understand this double CD right,
then one side as field recordings by dauby, mostly consisting of birds and metal, while the second CD has two pieces each
by grzinich and mcginely using their own field recordings and electronic sounds by dauby. what exactly was the reason to
combine this, otherwise then the omni-presence of dauby, i am not sure. the first CD is quite nice, if not a bit long
for it lasts just over an hour. throughout the pieces which just have birds sounds are bit shorter and the metal pieces
are (considerable) longer. don't except some neubauten like banging, but rather rusty objects floating neatly in the wind,
calm and peaceful. nice but, as said, there is overlap in this sound material.
so the second CD might be a rework of the sound material from dauby, but perhaps also a mixture of their own sounds, along
with electronic sounds delivered by dauby. perhaps if we look at this from a purely musical perspective this is the more
interesting of the two CDs, unless of course you look for pure field recordings. the first CD is more like a great exercise
in recording environmental sounds whereas on the second these pure field recordings are embedded in electronics, usually of
a more lenghty and sustaining kind. of the two composers i think i preferred the two compositions by grzinich. murmer's
pieces are more simple, like layering various sound events together (water, walking, drones), but seem to miss out a bit
on that added value. grzinich's pieces have exactly that value, while it seems he either adds a fine amount of processing
to the field recordings, or simply uses more layers of similar sounds to get more out of it. but throughout, overall, i
think this whole package is one that is very nice. there is lots of explore here and no doubt even useful stuff for djs of
a more experimental nature (pun intended).
~ frans de waard
while perhaps still regarded by the masses as strictly for the movies, field recording, or phonography - the practice of using
microphones to record an environment outside of the usual studio and concert settings - has come a long way in breaking predictable
ties to the film industry, while also distancing itself from the back alley ethno-music documentation that also tends to fall
under the same identifier.
this gaining autonomy, as i see it, is a result of a multi-faceted propulsion of artists and independent organizations bringing
field recording to the fore. there's the field reporter blog, that advocates for the emotional potency of phonographic work through
detailed reviews and historical insight. radio shows such as framework, on resonance 104.4fm out of london, focus on field recording
and its use in composition, inviting the world to open their ears and listen. finally, artists like chris watson, whose close work
with the BBC, has without a doubt done much in putting phonography on the map.
while chris watson's name has somewhat become synonymous with contemporary field recording practice, the three artists featured on
lind, raud, astaajad - yannick dauby, john grzinich, and patrick mcginley (a.k.a. murmer) - have certainly proven their own adeptness
at capturing sounds from environments that span the globe.
the first of this two-disc set is a collection of recordings from estonia by dauby, capturing the sounds of birds and metal.
by dauby's accounts, and those of john grzinich - who accompanied dauby through the countryside - estonia is a largely quiet and empty
place; dauby even describes it as a "wide open mental space," attesting to the difficulties a sound hunter is likely to encounter there.
despite this, dauby presents over an hour's worth of recordings that more or less alternate between bird songs and contact microphone
recordings of metal structures being activated by wind. cleverly, the bird recordings rarely breach three minutes in length, so as to
not exhaust their brilliance, and to act as melodic counterparts to the much longer metallic drones.
the second disc of this set presents two tracks each by murmer and grzinich, featuring electronic sound accompaniment by dauby.
while dauby's stand-alone recordings on the first disc were representationally honest - in the sense that they were very true to the
sounds one might actually hear if placed in such an environment - disc two's focus is on the use of field recording in a processed
composition, reinterpreting dauby's "snapshot" take on the form.
the compositions aren't rendered beyond interpretation of the source material, though. sounds like flowing water, buzzing flies,
footsteps in snow, and birds are clearly heard amid the lush drone, which acts as the pulse to these pieces. dauby's presence here is
understated until the closing moments of "kevad," where amassing electronic overtones crescendo into one of the finer moments of the
there isn't any new field recording ground being broken on lind, raud, aastaajad. but the disc showcases what these three artists strive
for in their music - a liveliness that can exist in even the most quiet, and desolate of places.
~ adrian dziewanski
the field reporter
spring is floating in the air. one can feel it, our bodies know it, and there's probably no better time to creep into "lind, raud,
aastaajad", an ensemble of site-specific field recordings captured around 2007 in selected loci of appealing estonia by yannick dauby
talked into by patrick mcginley (murmer) and personally guided by john grzinich.
needless to say things are rather starting auspiciously.
estonian landscapes seem to exude a pristine quality, largely left unpolluted by the bane of noise parasites infiltrating every corner
of our cities & suburbs
so, what we have on disc 1, are lively luminous birds songs spreading in this postcard alike baltic panorama, isolated slices of life
shining in their full splendor
more than ever here, the artist's ego fades away, and his main role is the one of being a simple transmitter, yannick lends us his sharp
ears, and freezes moments of precious reality into condensed frames of radiant beauty
birds songs alternate with metal songs coming from fences and strings, improvised musical mobiles self playing along the vibrating air,
and the wind modulations
these metallic chorals appear like the last witnesses of human activity, though much in symbiosis with the pure birds songs in a way
all pieces conjure together a true haven of peace, something cruelly missing from our hectic, feverish environments
an opportunity to slow down, if only for a while, and observe what the world has to offer to the one who is not in a perpetual hurry
it just cries out also: "life is music, music is life"
in the same breath, "raud 07.07.03 laaksare", the penultimate clanging, resonating piece seems like a visceral call to open our own
windows, and listen for ourselves
disc 2 are reappropriations of dauby's material respectively honed by john with "sugis" & "kevad", and assembled by murmer for "talv" &
"suvi". all these compositions have been enhanced with yannick dauby's delicate electronic sounds mostly forming a skeleton of circular/
spiraling motifs inviting to contemplation
"sugis" is the wind talking, and crows conspiring against it. and further, gentle rain and slight undefined household and outdoor
manipulation of objects. perhaps a slow awakening from a winter retreat
"talv" slackens chosen sequences of crunching sounds centered on the act of walking, considering them at various distances from the
microphone. friction, physical contact with the earth till going back to the "home sweet home" refuge, and letting ourselves be lulled to
the reassuring fire crackle
"kevad" distills small drops, in an almost silent empty church like space, and then throws us in a glade ringing again with different
interlaced birds songs
"suvi" begins with water flowing, always the same, yet always different, and the buzzing of insects at various speeds. all in unison with
the blooming, ever changing vegetation. ending with the rustle of leaves, and soft lapping & dripping
internalization of the landscape and its morphings, ele-mental analogy, "lind, raud, aastaajad" cleaving perfectly to invisible birds'
credo decline like three magic words to be granted an access to the healing dimensions of Nature
not so far in intent maybe from alio die's droning mantras
having visited estonia in 2007, yannick dauby was really inspired by nature of that country, its flavor. john grzinich, an american residing here,
performed the role of a guide, showing yannick untouched locations, where one might not only get a breath of fresh air and take a couple of
pictures for memories, but also record pure, indigenous sounds of these locales (which is a lot more logical, considering the kind of activities
of these men).
the first disc of the album is all pure "field recordings", acquired during this journey. the spectrum of dauby's interests in this particular
case is narrow: "simply" bird voices and sounds of metallic objects, rocked by the wind or the composer's hand. birds receive the largest portion
of the disc, but the compositions of feathered creatures are much shorter in duration, which albeit does not prevent them from making a rather
splendid impression. listening to twitterings and chirpings of forest inhabitants one imagines sunny days when the summer (and this did occur in
june) is in full blossom, the sun carressing you with its tender, not yet scorching warmth, the grass beneath your feet is shimmering, awashed
with rains. put shortly, pure bliss. estonian birds might hardly be specifically different from their russian, polish or german counterparts in
their desire to rejoice and sport an active living, therefore the material sounds rather universally. as do the "iron" tracks, yet the the latter
sound universally on another plane, their own. apparently, those were pipes and iron sheets, so, flying into their dark insides and wandering their
curves, the wind creates a transfixing rumble, giving birth to ambiences of practically cosmic scales (especially mighty is the sound of raud 07.06.10
latvian border: one is even curious as to which dimensions latvia (sic!) borderlines in these places). at times, the author assists the steel objects
to fully unravel, banging them with other metallic debris and fixating the resounding, slowly disolving echo - the method is, of course, old yet
effective, and one understands this particularly well when noticing the way these penetrating vibraions send shivers up the spinal chord.
the second CD is created by yannick based on field recordings sent to him by grzinich and patrick mcginley (murmer). in john's case, summer is ending,
giving way to something not entirely auspicious - stern winds blowing, showers clattering against the roof, crows crying scarily, strange noises
slowly percolating the iron reverberations. but, even the environment has become more severe, this in no way cancels out its beauty - though the long
night walks, accompanied only by bonfire crackle and leaves rustling beneath one's feet, lead you to mysterious places, from which myriads of cold
winter constellations are clearly visible.
mcginley favors calmer, even pastoral sketches. he might sit amidst a green field or walks by a channel of a murmury brook, with each second marveling
at the beauty and harmony of nature. in all four instances yannick does not heavily transform the source material, simply adding a soft, deep,
penetrating rumble (not unlike fabio orsy), which widens the space, smoothening noise nuancesand adding some sort of other-worldliness, making a
susceptable individual short on breath (while in case of lesser impressionabilty, one's eyelids might shut for a minutre or two).
afficionados of field recordings and organic ambient should necessarily familiarize themselves with the album. a good, qualitative work, unraveling an
entire world for its listeners. and its beauty captivates.
(thanks to sergei kleyn for translating)
fascinating, mysterious field-recordings by yannick dauby made in estonia 2007 ("songs of birds & metal") on CD 1, long tracks by murmur & john grzinich
with additional electronics by dauby on CD 2 - sublime & poetic drones full of details - "the artist becomes an instrument for the landscape"... highly
recommended for any field recording fan !! edition of 509 copies in nice 6-panel double-digipack
~ stefan knappe
incredible, deep listening from this trio of seasoned sound artists. the three artists involved travelled to estonia where they recorded ambient sounds,
indigenous materials and happenstances.
~ rough trade
john grzinich, the american sound artist from the nd environment, has lived several years in estonia. here every now and then he invites colleagues to scholarship
and artistic residencies. yannick dauby was there in 2007 and explored together with grzinich the landscape. this resulted in a collection of personal field
recordings by yannick dauby focused on two themes: the songs of birds in estonia and the noise of the wind, especially here in abandoned industrial sites. two
contrasting blocks of content that will be presented alternately on the first CD with respective place name. this change is more contemplative zwitschersounds that
take in a rapturous silence, complete with rough-resonating and whistling metallic sounds. on the second CD has yannick dauby electronically-dronige sounds as a
base material for compositions with field recordings by patrick mcginley (aka murmer) and john grzinich provided. the two men have constructed from this two
stunningly beautiful tracks that represent a harmonious blend of nature shots and abstract sounds. the circle and buzz sounds as sultry night air. in the flat
electronic sounds are mixed and chirping birds, rustling branches. a certain post-technological romanticism to come. the invisible birds label has released these
recordings in a beautiful digipak edition - worthwhile!
~ zipo (translated from the german)
lind, raud :
i could never have imagined just how textural the sounds of birds could be. generally, we hear them as punctuations of speech in the natural world and not
as the rich tapestry of interwoven dimensional space that they are. dauby plays a bit with these calls, truncating them and at other times looping them so
that they become like melodious feedback on a massive scale. between what our corvid contributors utter, yannick commits to disc some truly terrifying
drones. like vibrating metal structures in the sun, according to the information provided by the artist. you are right there with him in the estonian
wilderness as the high grass cascades and the piercing blue skies hem everything in.
each track on here is given a time specific designation and curiously enough, almost all of these were either recorded or composed in june. now june
generally is not a month i find myself enjoying much due to the heat and lack of children being confined to school where they belong, but i am going to
pay much closer attention to what goes on out there this time around. apparently, while the sun beats down, there's a microcosm of linguistics just
beneath the waves of heat that one can hear, if they have the right set of ears. listening to lind, raud has re-calibrated mine.
the dissonant reverberations of crudely formed machinery having it's very being tapped, touched and now and then tormented. these longer pieces which
are put together serve to become reference points to the short bursts of the natural world on display which are being cataloged. sure, it would be easy to
just disregard the details and focus solely on what has the most prominent duration but one thing i have learned over the years when listening to material
such as this is that the spaces in between what you can perceive contain what will fascinate you the most. in plainer terms, songs of bird and metal is
what i'd happily classify as auditory black matter.
far out there in the woods, across the thickets bursting with insects and their shadowy avian hunters, through the burnt and sun baked high country to
finally far above the tree line where the air claws at your lungs, somewhere in all of this isolated and forlorn splendor, amongst the ruins of what man
has wrought yannick dauby runs up the flag and that flag is lind, raud. birds and metal. flesh, blood and iron willed instinctual composition which
flows together to form a mosaic for the secret, insular world of what was before us and surely what will endure long after we are gone.
the second half of the equation comes at us now, four out of three. an intriguing conceptual conceit, men and their microphones, microphones and men.
aastaajad is a testament to the powerful abilities which this collection of artists brandish through the clever capturing of the natural world. as time
passes, i find myself listening to field recordings as a style more and more; there is nothing more impressive than having the ability to cajole the
randomness of the world outside onto a silver platter. i don't know the methodology involved but i imagine that work such as this takes incredible
amounts of perseverance and reserves of patience i simple do not possess. then again, thanks to this trio, i don't have to.
but i am amazed at the details and overall zealousness of purpose aastaajad is comprised of. part one commences with what sounds like a major wind
storm already in progress, the kind of disorienting chaos that would wipe the magnetic north off the face of your compass. there is a faintly echoing
call across its expansive wrath that i cannot make out, if i had to guess i would say the crosswind which presaged it but im no meteorologist. from there
we venture into warmer climes with one section entirely devoted to what sound like footfalls in the sodden ground pressing up a decrepit trail to the
scenic view above, over and over they fall hammering out a relentless cadence of turmoil and toil. i think dauby had a lot of fun manipulating these
sounds as so many of them are arranged to form a kind of broken, staccato of rhythm.
next it is back into the insect world, in particular the flies one finds in the dead heat of midday. through my headphones i was thoroughly immersed into
their perilous, skittery routine. forever scanning above for the circling birds who spell their doom, these creatures via the technological wizardry of
this album, got right next to my ear and once i found myself swatting away at the empty air.
perhaps the colder tones of this record can be explained by the fact that all four pieces on here were recorded from november through may. it may be
the intention of the composers to guide us along on an auditory trek through the changes which the seasons bring. the idea to use only winter and spring
is an intriguing one. to lop off the anchoring weight of one transitional period and yet leave the other as only transition, this kind of metamorphic art
is seen often in nature but rarely in the electronic realm. and it is this root which may best explain what is going on here, the one connective thread
of light moving through the subtly altered terrain which nature readily provides but only the minds of gifted individuals can sift through.
you will hear harmonies made from the singing soil beneath their feet, through the air a chorus of jabbering mandibles and screaming wings will captivate.
put on aastaajad the next time you have a group of people around and observe the results, my wager is that innate and deeply interred instincts will begin
to emerge. without doubt, these are no mere dabblings with the occult subtext of what lies outside, they are fined tuned incantations which have been
composed to index the full spectrum of the elements with an exhaustingly studious eye.
~ peter marks