3pr(iii)2ses. LUIS ANTERO, ANTON MOBIN, MZ-N710
(Earsheltering 2010)

3pr(iii)2ses is the second volume of field recordings from Earsheltering, a French netlabel that provides free access to high quality soundscapes. This compilation is described as falling somewhere “between abstraction and documentary” which I think is as good a description as any. Each piece has its foundations in the documentary; the recordists have captured the sounds of places that mean something to them. There is also an element of abstraction, as minimal information is given about the recording locations and subject matter. This gives free rein to the imagination of the listener and allows us to make these pieces our own.

I am a big fan of Luis Antero and am beginning to recognise his sonic signature. What I love about Antero’s work is his ability to use sound to celebrate the various sonic environments of his native Portugal, with particular reference to the agricultural region where he lives. As with his release ‘O Rio’ (Impulsive Habitat 2012), we get a real sense of place and community. ‘From Portugal – a sound narrative’ is a varied piece which over the course of 16 minutes brings us the sounds of a marching band, flowing water, barking dogs, a woman speaking, church bells, fireworks, singing birds and so much more.

Anton Mobin is a talented field recordist and sound artist currently residing in France and his composition, ‘Eau’, brings together a myriad of water recordings. This is the most abstract of the three recordings, with a fairly rapid interchange between sections and lack of any obvious narrative. It’s an interesting piece and does serve as a break between Antero’s Portuguese sound picture and the final recording in this set – ‘Vacances à Perros Guirrec’.

I’d never come across the work of MZ-N710 until ‘Vacances à Perros Guirrec’ came into view. This is another good example of creating a personal story through field recordings. In this case, the recordist pieced together several recordings made during a holiday on the coast of Brittany, thereby creating an acoustic alternative to the traditional holiday photo album. It’s a nice piece that gives the listener enough time to take in the different environments without dwelling too long in each location. The seascapes are hampered a little by wind noise but this is only occasional and does lend something to the overall picture. ‘Vacances à Perros Guirrec’ begins and ends with a train journey which, in my mind at least, signifies the start and eventual conclusion of this seaside vacation.

Earsheltering encourages listeners to use the material provided to build up their own personal playlists of field recordings. Recordings can either be retained within their original compilation or kept as separate entities, which can then be combined to form “a kind of DIY CD, just the way you like”. So, if you want to embellish your current collection of field recordings, I’d recommend taking a look at what 3pr(iii)2ses has to offer.

-Cheryl Tipp

Luis Antero website
Anton Mobin website
MZ-N710 discography
Earsheltering website 

Cheryl Tipp

Wildlife sounds curator at British Library.