(Tripe Bath 2010)

The boundary between the source of the sound and the listener, or similarly between the soundscape and the surrounding space that “receives” or absorbs the soundscape itself, is very subtle and in fact every kind of analysis that tries to objectively explain this sort of dividing line can leads us to think that this boundary is just traced conceptually. But what seems to be a mere philosophical exercise is actually a complex issue that is thoroughly analyzed by Daniel Alexander Hignell in his “Soundscape study 001” released by the Greek label “Triple Bath”.

The whole project was devised by the author as an attempt to explore the sonic scenery of two geographically distant villages and it aims to explain how the sound affects those who live it.

Crickets, thunderstorms, stolen dialogues, street musicians, ocean waves and raindrops are just a few example of the sounds that have been meticulously recorded with phonographic care. In fact, in terms of quality, the recordings are pretty interesting but the emotional heights of the record are direct consequence of the technique used to assemble the entire work: the transitions between every passage are extremely smooth and everything grows in a very organic way. Every sound seems placed just temporarily in focus and slowly merges and transforms into something else, into something that resembles an audio-picture of places and emotions, which gives shape to an ever changing multilayered composition, a pool of colors and nuances that floats over layers of washed out drones and hushed textures.

In the end “Soundscape study 001” manages to follow the targets of the project without being pretentious and on the contrary it gives to the listener the awareness of the different existing possibilities when it comes to the fruition of sound. Probably “Soundscape study 001” doesn’t give clear answers to what stated above but offers millions of insights to start thinking with new approaches, new attitudes and why not, to start listening with new ears.

-Elliot Loe

Daniel Alexander Highnell website
Triple Bath website

* Audio material based on field recordings made in the village of Fitou, France (August/September2009) and on the Isle of Barra, Scotland (September/October 2009) –