(Herbal International 2010)

Harbors are locations where we can find beautiful incidental sonorities and narratives. The constant movement, the quietness, the friction and the materials, the rust, the textures; the sounds we hear, the sounds we don’t hear; the sea, the wind. All of these conjuring factors that Lasse Marc Riek managed to capture in some really powerful and spontaneous way, creating a sense of temporality and materiality that builds up into a very strong experience.

From the liner notes they are two parts that I’d like to point out:

“From Spring 1999 to Spring 2007 I made location recordings of microsounds from Harbors in Germany and Finland”

The sonorities on this work reveal that the captures where done with different methods producing different senses of scale and environment. The use of certain and different microphones can create sounds otherwise impossible: seems like the small have been amplified in different directions opening a door to a new world, to an unbelievable and yet very real-like experience of sound.

“…gangways, tunnels, bridges, ships, boats, ferries, floating docks and coastal birds are making abstract sounds. They where modulated from wind, water and machines. This field research was listening to the self-composition in the area…”

Seems like the artist didn’t manipulate any situations which adds to the work a certain rigor that is highly welcomed: he is not interacting with reality in a way other than with his presence. It’s quite profound and mysterious that “mindful” compositions arise from the random patterns drawn by the different conditions at a certain place and at a certain time.

There is a subtle and yet noticeable “orchestral” sense at some points of the release, and this is very visible through the piece “Hamburg, Germany”. This piece seems to emphasize and show awareness of this issue. The other pieces have a more raw and environmental character which results in a beautifully depicted lapse of time, very slow, very unique and full of motion and rhythm.

‘Harbour’ is new for me although it was published in 2010; retrospectively this is one of the very interesting releases released that year. Its crudeness and spontaneity makes it a work that offers a very specific and perfectly built universe of sound.

-John McEnroe

Lasse Marc Riek website
Herbal International website