(Audio Gourmet 2011)

Audio Gourmet is a rather lovely netlabel that offers a variety of mini albums, EPs and short sound works that “can be listened to in full during a standard working tea-break.”, which roughly equates to 15 minutes. Life is just one of many EP releases featured on the label and comprises 4 natural field recordings from Portuguese recordist Luίs Antero. I’m a big fan of Antero’s work and this is a perfect little taster of his style and subject interests. I also respect his intention to focus his sound recording efforts on locations in his native Portugal. True to form, these 4 recordings were made in two Portuguese locations: Arganil and Oliveira do Hospital. Each recording represents a specific element of the natural world, covering both environmental and wildlife sounds.

1. Wind

Blustery wind gusting through foliage is the subject of the first recording. An overhead aircraft gradually creeps into the sound picture, reminding us of the impact of humankind on the sonic environment.

2. Birds

The 2nd  track, Birds, presents the listener with an absolute cacophony of bird chatter. There must be at least a hundred birds contributing to this recording, either preparing to roost or getting ready to leave in the morning. Individual voices can be picked out if you listen hard enough.

3. Water

And now we come to water, one of my absolute favourite recording subjects. The gurgling of a flowing river / stream alongside a fairly busy road gently fades into another faster flowing body of water.

4. Frogs

The EP culminates in a gentle frog chorus comprising several individuals. The fore, middle and background are very well represented and you can easily picture a string of males each trying his very best to outdo his vocal competitors.

Life is a simple offering that definitely leaves the listener wanting more. No recording is more than 3 minutes in duration and before you know it, the EP has come to an end. A very nice package to enjoy when you need a quick break from the daily grind.

-Cheryl Tipp

Luis Antero website
Audio Gourmet website 

Cheryl Tipp

Wildlife sounds curator at British Library.