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Taurion Trou De Lapin. DALE LLOYD
(Kaon 2012)

Taurion Trou De Lapin is a new work by Dale Lloyd which continues Cedric Peyronnet’s “River” series. For those who are unaware of this series, “The River” is an exploration of the sounds pertinent to the Taurion River Valley in France. Over three years Peyronnet recorded the subtle sounds of water and animal life in this region before inviting more than 20 sound artists to produce works based on his field recordings. Dale Lloyd’s Taurion Trou De Lapin is the first release in the third season of “The River”.  It is a beautiful and curious blend of field recordings which transports the audience beyond the literal geographic space of the Taurion Valley into a much more phantasmagoric world. By the end of Taurion Trou De Lapin we have taken a mental journey through the rabbit hole, and much like Alice we are privy to the wonders and anxieties that reside in our own mind.

Taurion Trou De Lapin begins with recordings of ravens and thunder overhead. These culturally loaded sounds echo ancient narratives of magic and darkness, playing upon our imagination. The sound of rain is also present in the opening section, its eternal resonance allowing the audience to conceptualise the time and space in which these recordings occur. Through Lloyd’s presentation the sounds belong as much to the present as to the past and future. Equally they could belong to any space, whether it be the Taurion Valley or any other another river system around the world. This point is critical to one of the key themes of the work: the subjective role of the listener in creating their own narrative to sounds.

As the volume of the rain increases it is interrupted by some intentionally placed microphone glitches,  reminding us that we are listening to a technological construct whose own geographic space stems from inside a studio. This technique highlights the dislocation between the recording site, the studio, and the final place of listening. This reinforces the notion that the act of listening belongs to a creative process, a partnership existing between the composer and the audience. With this in mind the interpretation of the original field recordings becomes as fluid as water.

Travelling further along the river the sounds of rain and water are moved to the periphery. The calls of birds and insect life are placed in the foreground, acting as a bridge to Taurion Trou De Lapin’s less literal second section.

Following the theme of subjective listening the second section is open to interpretation, yet at this stage it seems clear we have followed Alice down the rabbit hole. Recordings of water gently moving over rocks are gradually replaced by a dawn chorus whose initial sweetness takes a bitter turn. The treatment of the original field recordings in this section grants the audience license to move beyond any literal domain, with each successive listen providing new connotations for us to consider.

In the realm of presenting specific sites through sound Lloyd’s reworking of Peyronnet’s original field recordings is significant. Without any visual cues Taurion Trou De Lapin guides the listener into an understanding of the Taurion Valley through its own constructs. Lloyd creatively transports us through this terrain, his manipulation of Peyronnet’s recordings triggering our imagination. Through Lloyd’s craftsmanship we feel the emotional resonance of a space which transcends the limited scope of the Taurion Valley to explore the depths of our mind. It is here that the River Series is a fascinating exploration of the human response to auditory stimuli, Taurion Trou De Lapin being a valuable addition to its growing collection.

-Jay-Dea Lopez

Dale Lloyd website
Kaon website