Though I always love listening to earth-born aural messages from the cosmos – it’s actually one of the very few pleasures remained in a life full of annoying trivial issues and constant harassments of a correct development as a human being – it’s not a secret that field recording-based activities have become one of the numerous ways in which banality establishes its dominance amidst people who don’t possess the capability of creating earnest art. But even in an overcrowded area like that, someone still manages to make me stop and think again. Enter Craig Vear – regrettably never met before spinning this CD – who recorded the waters and the surrounding environmental circumstances of the Esk river, which originates in North Yorkshire’s National Park and ends its course in the North Sea. The curiosity lies in Vear’s choice of gathering the sources by going backwards – from sea to spring – then organizing the results “in order of flow”, thus returning to the elemental consecutiveness linked to the water’s stream. Employing an array of hydrophones and air microphones, the composer (yes, he is) did a great job in understanding, with evident sensibility, if and when a sound or an incident were worth keeping; the sense of fatuous marginality that inhabits hundreds of comparable releases is completely missing here, as we sincerely felt ourselves as one of the many components of the various episodes. Fat gurgles, wooden creaks, out-of-town moans and hums, tweets (meaning real birds, not the act of highlighting sub-normality on the web) and the “modern” sounds of the harbour. A continual feeling of isolated security, sure about the fact that nature’s law is the one that really works in the end, and that the rules that it requires us to respect correspond to veritable justice.

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