Akos Garai is a deep listener who wants us to hear what he hears, and to find within these songs the soul of his river. When exposed to the sound object the process of imagine becomes the bonding element between the individual listener and the listened sounding universe; the capacity to reduce when exposed to sound is what establishes this universal sense of the universe; the listener is linked to the universe he is part of and the containing universe is linked to the listener through the sensible experience that is general and specific simultaneously.
We would like to thank him for his words and in general for his supportive attitude with The Field Reporter through our first five months. It started when I was a young child, long before I started to listen to any music from vinyl or cassettes. I think I had a kind of sensitivity to observe, in fact, to enjoy the sounds of the world were around me at U-10134-30 - Ákos Garai - Barges & Flows (CDr time.
Of course, it was not a conscious thing but it was enough to capture my attention for hours. When I think back now, I still have something somewhere from these sound experiences even in its degraded form in my memory, and it is a good and interesting thing for me. Is there a specific subject, issue or question or that you feel you are trying to articulate through your work with sound?
Yes, definitely. There is always a starting idea or premise of what I would like to achieve with my sound. But these are not narrow limits to me, because when I am working in the fields life often overrides these ideas which I never stand against.
So it is also the case to find out more or something completely different. I could compare this a little to when you walk in an open meadow and the rain suddenly starts falling, you will adapt to this changed environment and you will go to do something differently than before the event. With field recording, this attitude is more than expected; when U-10134-30 - Ákos Garai - Barges & Flows (CDr with processed sound it is a little bit different where a different kind of creativity is required.
Important to me out there — as far as possible. Practically, I like to care about every detail when I go to make recordings. I think the technical stuff and everything that entails. Field work is always interesting even if I return with an Album) card or something useless. What disciplines other than sound art and music Ex.
In fact, it is hard to tell. Mainly I could specify time i. I cannot emphasize or get rid of anything from it. Obviously, we record all that we can hear or see or above our senses.
But film certainly is something that is very far from me. Not interested at all. What lead you to start a label? How you articulate the label manager work with your process as an artist?
Around yearsI did not see a label other than the highly respected Gruenrekorder which, clearly committed itself to field recordings and operated as a traditional label and also represented high artistic value. On the other hand, I wrote a little history with my label because this is the first label which deals and releases Album) works in Hungary.
But the greatest pleasure is that I can manage new recordings from all over the world and to transmit them to others through my releases. I really like to give something good to people, and I cannot imagine a better way than with music!
Perhaps because of my age, I think a label that releases in physical formats is still important. The good thing with vinyl and compact disc and its artwork not only that you can hand something lasting to your listeners, in addition, to listen to music on CDs, LPs is assuming a quiet environment paired with at least a good-quality stereo playback system in an acoustic space; plus a comfortable sofa or seat where is a good thing to lay down and listening to music.
Perhaps all this is just an anachronistic romantic approach now… but it works; Many people including me do like to have a release on their shelf; others prefer a digital copy only — but that is alright.
Yes, it is widely believed that everyone can be their own publisher today, since only two clicks — and you are done. Despite of this, I know a lot of artist who never would do so rather find a label that they appreciate and like to have a release on. Maybe this is a strange paradox: to have something invisible music on something visible physical release but I definitely believe in this. How relevant and useful have been the reviews and press in general written on regard of 3LEAVES and its published releases?
Yes, it is important, relevant and can be useful too. It is a wonderful thing to imagine that someone is listening to your music, maybe on the other side of the world, and something happens to him or her which, then reacts back to the entire world.
It is like dropping a small stone into the ocean and watching feedback circles created by. The scrapes and groans of the ships at times seem almost violent as they convey the immense weight of the boats. Some areas appear congested with people, ships, and traffic noises, while others seem almost devoid of human activity altogether, the primary sound the rusty song of a single ship. Along its almost three thousand kilometers, it both connects and, as a natural border, separates ten countries, growing from the confluence of two tiny streams into a panoramic waterway and offering a plethora of sonic impressions ranging from the pastoral and intimate to the industrial.
Rather, it complements, comments on and occasionally counterpoints her perspective, further enriching an already colourful panopticum. The main difference between the two approaches consists in their conceptual departure points. Lockwood, after all, regarded the Danube foremost as a cultural symbiosis between a natural resource and the people living along its shores. To her, this symbiosis expressed itself in the fine gradations of dialect and vocabulary of the manifold languages spoken on its trajectory from Germany to the Ukraine as well as the endless stories amassed through the centuries, from its days as an outer fortification of the Roman empire up until the 21st century.
To Garai, on the other hand, the Danube is less a conjurer of stories, but a muse of song. His focal point is less on socio-political aspects, but pointed at the cohabitation between the river, as a biological habitat and natural reserve, and the ships and boats ploughing its waves.
The field recordings gathered from these trips are anything but the kind of sweetly bubbling and gently gurgling water sounds one has come to expect of similar endeavours. At the same time, there is a degree of clarity and a love for the microscopic character traits of each location, as though these were acoustic portraits of the barges captured on them.
The sheer musicality of the result is astounding. On one occasion, Garai documents an eight-minute long monody of rusty harmonics, a shifting trail of intervals coalescing into an endless theme. On another, he listens breathlessly, as the waterplay against a backdrop of crackling micro-noise textures creates a quiet oasis.
To drive his point home, Garai has gone for the moments when the confluence of chance and patience yields spinetinglingly stunning results. Already the first few seconds of the album, unfolding in front of the listener like the opening sequence of a movie, express its intent of communicating not just raw data but sonic events of poetic import: Water sounds slowly fade in, gradually enriched by dripping noises and the hiss of a close by motorway.
Then human voices reach the ear and, finally, the heaving and sighing of the first barge — one has arrived at the heart of the narrative. No drum machine in the world could have been programed with such a sequence and Garai carefully builds it into a spellbinding and hypnotic track.
Towards the end, suddenly, tidal activity picks up, the carwheel-groove segueing with liquid splashings until, almost like a percussionist striking the timpani in a symphonic finale, three expressive thumps seem to suggest a natural conclusion. Review of Pilis at Tokafi on As aesthetically pleasing and thought-provoking as field recordings may be, their public perception is prone to a popular fallacy: Even by minutely documenting your hikes into the countryside and backing them up with a truckload of photographs, sketches and journal-entries, Album), you can never fully recreate the sensory experience.
More disturbingly, many of the great musical moments mother nature has in store for us are only rarely susceptible to the minute preparations of a field recorder and have a rare talent of occurring at the very moment the microphone is pointed into the opposite direction — or in none at all. Perhaps it is rightly because his previous output has characterised him as a careful drone-builder with a knack for emotional and precise tone-placement rather than a field-purist, Akos Garai may have an inbuilt sensitivity for putting things right.
Over a decade after switching from his former position as an axeman with various Grindcore-bands to his new calling as a Sound Artist, he has arrived at a surprisingly convincing solution to this dilemma — and managed to bridge the regularly quoted divide between field recordings and music while at it.
And thus, Garai embarked on his trip in April of this year, finished processing, editing, arranging and post-producing the material as early as July and published it only two months later. It is a technique which one could confuse for a maniacal obsession or a carefree urge to take risks without looking back, but which, in reality, turns out to be the utter confidence of not vaguely believing or guessing but knowing that a particular work has turned out just the way you wanted it to.
It should be fitting in this context that Garai chose to take care of every aspect of the release himself, providing images and contributing design as well as founding his own label, 3LEAVES, to remain in full control of every single aspect of the music. Most importantly, however, there is the ongoing presence of a clear-watered stream, which accompanies the wanderer all the way, like a good friend. For one, it is the lifeline of the mountains, replenishing its energies and rejuvenating its century-old face, withered and battered by the elements and the gradual force of erosion.
Then again, it is a metaphor for the philosophical idea that nothing can ever really repeat itself: As Garai moves forward, he is, in a way, never walking along the shore of the same stream, but observing its continuous metamorphosis. And finally, it is a musical Leitmotif for the album as a whole, reassuringly underpinning these minimalist sonic scenarios.
It is the sound of the stream that holds the loose events of the album together, provides them with context and texture, structures their flow and awards them meaning.
Some might claim that this essentially simply means that there is an awful lot of water to be heard on this disc. But paying attention to its constantly changing surface, its minute variations and inner dynamics does pay off for anyone with an open ear. If Garai had decided to simply present his trip without any kind of additions, he might have earned some applause in the scene and that would have been the end of it.
Instead, he afterwards decided to complement his recordings with additional layers of electronic processing. These are never of the typical romantic Folk-type or ethereal Ambient-elements. Rather, they act as a conscious contrast with the organic sweetness of the environment: Rumbling, subsonic waves and glitchy micro-ticks, high-pitched, disturbing alarm-bell-like squeals, deep, hollow reverberations like a ghostly combination of chilling wind and the distant drone of airplanes.
On the overall scale of the piece, these episodes are few and far between and never particularly long. And yet, their presence is of seminal importance.
One feels like observing bewildering little spectacles, like stumbling upon whims of nature and the spirit of the mountain playing little games to entertain its visitors and itself alike.
One could of course ask what the purpose of these games might be. That, however, would be completely against the intention of the album. This is exactly what one experiences as a listener, too: An epic, encharming, quiet and yet sweeping journey through a magical landscape which takes on great plasticity. Its multiple layers of perception offer the rare chance of replacing the actual experience with a different, yet equally fresh, one. Comments RSS. You are commenting using your WordPress.
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