Jana Winderen: sound gathering, composition

“That we reckon that this is so astonishing says something about us…”.

In the above snippet – taken from Jana Winderen’s highlighting of the prodigious characteristics of a moth’s perceptive system – you can find, perfectly synthesized, the principles underlying this very track and, at large, the inadequacy of a noise-making species – that’s right, the human progeny – in front of the acoustic cosmogony that should idealistically represent its exclusive belief.

Out Of Range starts with an awesome prospect of vastly sloping resonance in the lower region of our hearing domain accentuated by diverse mutations of chirps, bleeps and waves in a mix of organic irregularity and ultra-pure natural events; ever since those initial instants we acquire an impression of perfection. The title refers to the Norwegian soundscaper’s utilization of animal emissions that deluded “evolved beings” can’t even dream of; they were captured by Winderen with appropriate machines, subsequently rendered (via time-stretching methods) in audible fashion for us to comprehend – hopefully – the importance of the laws that regulate the relationship between silence, physical existence, consequent improvement and defense of one’s own habitat, and achievement of the inherent purpose of a given organism’s development and itinerary through life.

As in some of her preceding works, the striking constituent in this artist’s know-how is the almost tactile spatiality of the concept in direct proportion with the downright beauty of the resultant construction. There’s a section – starting around the seventeenth minute – where the accumulation of hissing frequencies, built-in rhythms, peculiar whistling and celestial oscillation of processed textures literally squeezes the lactic acid off the mental muscle. In the midst of an intimate contact with the utterly healthy nothingness related to the loss of intellectual significance, the uselessness of words drives us towards a fundamental turning point; a decision is necessary, and it mostly has to do with not listening anymore to what someone has to say. At least not while confronted with issues of infinity, as it frequently happens during this piece when the juxtaposition of earth-derived signals and terrific supersonic parabolas redefine our hollow diminutive shapes.

This glorious composition, a veritable lesson to the countless amateurs inhabiting the field recording neighborhood, is a download-only release (the high-quality WAV version available from Touch is recommended). It was commissioned by Deutschlandradio Kultur but, apart from the spectacular response from Winderen – who confirms herself as a cardinal name in this area – the lone thought crossing my mind (as always) is that there is no “culture” other than finally being able to estimate people’s actual dimension after thousands of years of self-aggrandizing theories. This type of ear-enhancing education might assist in walking the first steps to that end.

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