Various Artists – Donostia Noise


CD + book – Audiolab

Harkaitz Cano, Jose Luis Espejo, Yannick Dauby, Xabier Erkizia, Mikel R. Nieto, Luca Rullo, Alex Mendizabal and Asier Gogortza are the sound artists who summarized the work of two seminars which happened in 2008 and 2013 in the ARTELEKU centre, later unfortunately dismissed, in Donostia, San Sebastián. The first workshop was coordinated by Yannick Dauby, the latter one by Jose Luis Espejo and Mikel R. Nieto. Both had the goal of analyzing the sound landscape and highlighting the sounds which were significant in the specific geographical, cultural and social context for their abundance or for their absence. This took several years. All the selected material was later collected and set together in this CD. The release is accompanied by a 32 page, dense book of texts and images in Basque and Spanish. The booklet and the twenty selected tracks openly show the multidisciplinary attitude, more related to the “anthropological” aspects of audio research through field recordings and with small space for the aesthetic sides. It is possible to listen to the voices of a public announcement, the recordings of some popular music or a football game, the voices of citizens meeting in some public spaces, and also political slogans, the noises of fireworks during some village fairs and claps, whistles and even the Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie. It’s not relevant now to discuss if this is music or not, such as attempt is not even intellectually constructive, for who believes the field recordings are absolutely something else. More poetic is trying to decide if these “documents” have some musicality or significant listening moments, that might tell us something about the genius loci of a specific environment. Some researchers think the respect for a place, the decoding of its more intimate and also superficial nature, being integrated with it, means listening to the voices, the noises and catching their essence. Obviously today, in an always more media-related reality, this kind of analysis is not easy. What makes a rural or urban area distinctive today? Has this some relationship with the everyday life of the people? Can we be not scared to highlight the quality of some specific identity in a historical moment where on these themes a very dangerous game is played for the contemporaneity? The attempt to question all of this is already a success for this kind of release, based on the paradoxes of different theoretical settings.