(3LEAVES 2011)

Navajos were able to measure the months by the phases of the moon.

The Moon is referred to as “waning” when, in the northern hemisphere, the right side is dark and the light part is shrinking, when it is moving towards a new moon.

The phase in which the moon is “disappearing again” is called Waning Crescent or Anáádiih in Navajo’s language.

Navajo’s culture, habits and beliefs were profoundly attached to the natural environment, and the presence of “solemn” rituals in their culture was accompanied by a mystic relation with the nature in all its forms: animals, plants, water, light, wind, and every natural phenomenon known by them.

“Anáádiih” is also a sound work by Mathieu Ruhlmann & Banks Bailey released by the label 3LEAVES, inspired by a Native American Navajo writing.

The two artists have assembled a sonic collage of rare beauty and effectiveness. Using only concrete sounds and field recordings they’ve gathered all the colors and nuances of the Navajo’s beloved nature.

With its running time clocking in just below 40min, “Anáádiih” is a perfect condensed journey of sonic events. Unlike some other field recording based compositions, in this work there is a concrete and constant sense of motion, as if we were traveling across mountains and canyons, experiencing the heat of the day or feeling the strong wind in our faces, living in complete symbiosis with the nature and feeling ourselves alive for being part of such complex and somewhat mysterious system.

The audio material here presented is a multilayered composition that consists of various overlapped recordings that allow the listener to become highly involved with the sense of space and time. In fact the attention rapidly shifts from what we can consider “environmental recordings”, in which the sense of space is present by definition, to amplified sounds of “objects, gestures and materials” that recreate to our ears the sense of being really close to the audio source. This constant dilatation / contraction of the distances, makes way for another particular, maybe subtler feeling, the feeling of experiencing the pace of time. Day, night, and day again, season after season, year after year.

Time has passed, everything has changed: cultures, landscapes, beliefs.

But “Anáádiih” seems to tell us: “Just listen”.

The Navajo’s moon is still there.

-Elliot Loe

Banks Bailey discogs
Mathieu Ruhlmann @ myspace
3Leaves wesbite