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RIEK, LASSE-MARC - Helgoland

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Gruenrekorder Field Recording Series GRUEN 109
Release Year: 2013
Note: 16 pure high quality field recordings from Germany's only ocean island, densely populated by marine birds => capturing the water, wind, and animals (especially marine birds) of this rough place at different locations (also from cliffs and caves normally not accessible); feat. a full colour booklet with extensive liner notes & photos...very much in the vein of CHRIS WATSONs or FRANCISCO LOPEZ unprocessed wildlife recordings, this is filled with a very personal approach, recorded over a period of 3 years
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.00

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"A place can inspire us in many different ways. Whether it be painting, photography, poetry or sound, all of these outputs are driven by a desire to preserve the essence or spirit of the landscape that has touched us. Lasse-Marc Riek chose the medium of sound to demonstrate his love for the natural history of Helgoland, a small German archipelago in the North Sea. Over the course of two years, Riek gathered together a series of field recordings that move from the majestic to the intimate. The delicate sweep of sand particles caught in the breeze sits alongside the harsher sounds of a passing storm battering the land with an unrelenting force. Some recordings demonstrate the overwhelming presence of seabird colonies, alive with the vocalisations of Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Guillemots and Northern Gannets. This all-encompassing cacophony of growls, cackles and screeching calls creates an evocative and imposing sound picture, yet other recordings allow us to experience each of these species at closer quarters. We are able to listen in on the conversations of Black-legged Kittiwake and Northern Gannet families and experience the harsh cries of Arctic Terns calling to each other over the sound of crashing waves. One of the most moving recordings captures guillemot chicks taking to the water for the first time. The parent birds can be heard calling to their young, encouraging them to take that all important leap. The incessant, high-pitched calls of the chicks are occasionally accompanied by rapid fluttering and a gentle splash, signifying the successful jump of a chick onto the water. Birds are not the only inhabitants of Helgoland though, and several tracks are dedicated to the mournful wails of the Grey Seal. The calls are almost human like, especially those of the pups, and it comes as no surprise that these sorrowful sounds have links with ancient legends of mystical people found along the shoreline. The final recording in the series features the sound of a plane starting its engine and then taking to the sky, leaving behind nothing but the rhythmic breaths of a Grey Seal bull asleep among the dunes. Humans are not necessary here. Though they may inhabit the islands, the land is not really theirs. The land belongs to nature. Long may that continue." [Cheryl Tipp / Curator, Wildlife Sounds, The British Library, England]