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蛙蛙蛙!Songs of the frogs of Taiwan vol.1. YANNICK DAUBY
(Kalerne 2009)

The Romanticism appeared as a reaction to two particular events that mattered a couple of centuries ago and that today I would like to point out:

The industrial revolution

The rationalization of the relation with nature prompted by science and the ongoing Age of enlightenment

In a way I can articulate my interest and relation with works like “Songs of the frogs of Taiwan vol.1” with aspects that were particularly relevant for the romanticism.

Likewise it’s curious that Yannick Dauby on the notes for this release speaks about listening to frogs as “a romantic affair” referring to the material in this release as “love songs” since what we can hear are male frogs seducing the female with their tunes.

The experience of listening to nature sounds and in particular with sounds produced by animals puts us in the middle of a dialogue that we probably don’t quite understand, but that we can relate to and contemplate.

The sound aspect in the communication between animals is a subject closely related with the communicating between humans and this is a subject that is addressed by Ethology that refers to animal communication as animal behaviors that affect animal behaviors.

Human language in the other hand is usually approached more like a system of symbols.

When we assume that there is a series of signs we can’t decode we are left to our reduced hearing.

When we listen to lyrical music sang on an alien language we get the meaning and purpose behind the lyrical aspect from the tone, the rhythm, the melody and the harmony, and from the gestural behavior of the singer.

With animals it can be said that occurs a similar process: we forget about the simbolic aspect of the sound communication and we are left to the formal aspect of the sounds involved in their communication.

The universe is understood through a scientific read of it and science is understood as a system. The cosmos and nature seem to communicate in a different way than us. The non-human communication seems to acquire meaning from the formal aspects of objects and not from any symbolic signs like humans do.

A bioacosutic scientist will read behaviors; somebody more concern about the sensible experience will instead read meaning and purpose, his own, as reflected on the animals behavior.

Man made sounds didn’t stop Yannick Dauby from recording frogs in Taiwan, sometimes you can hear human activity  and one might question how they relate to our oral language, to our speech…it is there somewhere for sure.

Romanticism seem to acquire a new relevance these days, acoustic pollution bothers us now more than ever as we know the big impact it has on our physical and mental health.

The sounds of nature seem to offer one the really few metaphysical experiences we can have today, away from the role we have in the artificial polluted world we created.

蛙蛙蛙!Songs of the frogs of Taiwan vol.1.” is out of print but hopefully Yanick Dauby will publish a second edition of this work sometime soon. This is one truly remarkable release very effective as sensible experience in terms of our perception of the world as a resource for images and reflections of transcendent nature.

-Alan Smithee

Yannick Dauby wesbite
Kalerne website