The Narrows. JODA CLÉMENT
“The Narrows” by Joda Clément is a 35minutes soundscape based on field recordings captured by the author in various locations (Ontario, Quebec, Austria).
The raw recordings are no longer easily recognizable, they have been blurred and stretched and their massive superposition forms a flowing and impenetrable mass of frequencies. There are no foreground sounds, there is no clear distinction between “figure” and “ground”, every detail has been melted into a resonant cloud of sonic particles that grows minute after minute assuming different shapes and colors.
Despite this work cannot be defined “phonographic”, it nevertheless preserves a solid link to the environment and its characteristics. While listening to this album the environment is perceived as a space that carves the sound, and the sound itself becomes the essence in which all the information and emotions are retained.
Dense, dark and metallic would be the words If I had to choose three adjectives to describe this album. But the overall sonic result is far from being catalogued as oppressive or claustrophobic. In contrary it preserves a high emotional potential and there is an evident nostalgic theme that often rises from the smithereens of the original recordings.
The rumble of a distant thunderstorm opens this audio work and from there the complex soundscape grows becoming more and more articulated, alternating quiet passages with louder ones until towards the end a quick and isolated childish laugh illuminates the horizon for a brief moment putting back the listeners into a weightless state of mind while the solitude of the Canadian wilderness resounds in the ears.