Skip to main content
Read page text

Andrew Hunt smartphone app in February, a collection of pristine environments such as “Psychologically Ultimate Seashore”. Hindsight reveals Tiebel’s particular fetishisation of nature, not unlike the BBC nature documentaries that cast only a spurious glance towards their contextual environmental violence.

Thankfully, 2018’s offerings provide significantly more bite. Jana Winderen’s Spring Bloom In The Marginal Ice Zone details one of the world’s most important carbon dioxide sinks close to the North Pole, the location of which is in flux. Listeners hear the sparkling plankton alongside rupturing ice and teeming oceanic life, aware of the zone’s fragility. Gonçalo F Cardoso’s Impressões De Uma Ilha (Unguja), while not expressly concerned with climate change, is imbued with the tidal rhythms he captured in Zanzibar. Inquisitive listeners might subsequently discover that the island’s seaweed industry and the women who manage, cultivate and harvest the crops are under acute threat from climate change. In the Pacific, Anja Kanngieser continues to explore and document the region’s environmental justice issues.

The importance of field work, as opposed to remote reflections, might be crucial in stemming our alienation from the people, places and processes impacted by climate change, for the recordists as much as listeners. In the world of sound art, Felix Blume’s installation Rumors From The Sea situates bamboo flutes in a rising ocean threatening to displace a Thai community. It’s an eerily melancholic piece, the sea wheezing gently through the flutes. Importantly, Blume based it on an existing method of placing bamboo in the ocean to limit the damage of coastal erosion.

Just over two years on from the death of Pauline Oliveros, it feels as if these currents find an anchor point with the American composer’s practice of deep listening, what she described as “listening in every way”. What is the dawning ecological awareness Morton speaks of if not borne from our deep listening to climate change, shifting ecosystems, and the gently lapping waves at the feet of people’s homes and livelihoods? Her philosophy – really a method of perception – was conceived 14 feet below ground in a cistern carved out of the earth’s crust. It is more vital than ever. 

ll

Cro

Dan

(24 and eight hours long, respectively); coming to understand how and why New York City became a convoluted urban pretzel via Robert Caro’s The Power Broker; watching political organising, activism and determination begin to bear some fruit; Peter J Woods and Gerritt Wittmer challenging themselves and their audience at Baltimore’s Red Room in August; being present as Thalia Zedek and Chris Brokaw teamed up to awe a house party with oldies and new tunes in October; feeling buoyed by the creativity and innovation of so many musicians, visual artists and poets who may never become household names, are well aware of this yet grind forward nonetheless; earning a day job promotion; watching my amazing son continue to grow up into an exceptional young man; the under-heralded, purposeful return of Stephen Malkmus, woke loopy indie-rock uncle; and being fortunate enough to begin appearing in the pages of this very magazine, which I’ve admired since my late teens. Cheers.

Katrina Dixon To me, culture means ideas and imagination – not separate from life but part of it – and after my mother died at the year’s start, it genuinely was inspiring, healing, meaningful. Being reminded of how much books, art, theatre and music meant in our family life as I cleared the house helped me plug back into the now and future, even when that included the devastation of the Glasgow School of Art fire. At Hawick’s Alchemy Festival, Ela Orleans’s film and music were portals of wonder. Paul Wright’s film Arcadia brought folk horror to a Technicolor archival retilting. In art, retrospectives for Jenny Saville in Edinburgh and Frida Kahlo in London, the Ashmolean Museum’s

Spellbound show in Oxford and the gritty beauty of Tish Murtha’s 1970s and 80s urban captures at London’s Photographers Gallery left lasting impressions. Othello at London’s Globe Theatre and Pussy Riot at the Edinburgh Festival were distinctly different but equally powerful wow moments. Likewise, the Mu.ZEE of Ostend and Musee Fin-de-Siecle Museum in Brussels. Lastly, books – too many – but Ann Quin’s The Unmapped Country and new publications from Atlas Press, Charco Press and Dostoevsky Wannabe - all due your rapt attention.

2018 Rewind | The Wire | 41

My Bookmarks


    Skip to main content