islas resonantes

Paisajes sonoros de las Islas Canarias
Soundscapes of Canary Islands

Mar
20

  Crowded Deserts (Fuerteventura)

    Author:


Crowded Deserts (Fuerteventura)

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We spent 7 days in Fuerteventura, arriving march 10th and leaving march 17th: Ecki Güther, my collaborator and technician, the master of creative and playful recording sets, Dieter Scheyhing, my husband, who helped in all ways to get around the island, took pictures and started soon to get the field recording virus himself, and me. Our house was in El Cotillo, a former fisher village and by now a recently discovered attraction for surfers and (mostly) individual tourists.

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Fuertenventura is mainly made of Lava stones, sand, wind, small houses, plants which seem to live without water, goats, sea birds, palm trees, the ocean and beaches all over. The inhabitants are like in Berlin: direct, straight and not too „sweety“. We liked them a lot!

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The forms of the landscape and the villages are horizontal, soft, organic, with reduced colours, no clouds, strong light which is most beautiful in the early evening.

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The harder forms, the different architecture, the different colours are from mobile phone towers, shopping zones, hotel buildings, street lights. (Someone must have sold thousands of metal street lights to the government of Fuerteventura – there are even streets out of any function with high metal lamps building a sharp silhouette against the sky.)

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We recorded every day from morning to night, going to different parts of the island. By car, by ship, by foot.

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Almost all the work was done outside, with strong wind. There are not many places where you can hide from the permanent wind on this island. It is there, a continous source of sound, making objects resonate, plants, stones and the ocean.

Fuerteventura is a „minimal style“ island. The art of reduction seems to fit perfectly to the landscape and it’s architecture, plants and cultivation. It has many micro worlds and hidden places. A very strong nature that seems to be powerful enough to change everything in a short time by the forces of the wind, the sand, the heat.

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We had a hard time to go to the tourists centres (because it was just a duty) and observe the global uniformity of architecture, shops and touristic arrangements. But we discovered as well a series of beautiful local museums which gave us an unexpected insight into the social life of the island just a short time ago (which included interesting sounds).

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It was fun to go to the african market where all languages could be heard. To stay in the bars and listen to the conversations. It was hard to see the pereiras, the animal shelters, where – like in Puerto del Rosario – 130 dogs were waiting for a better life.

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While listening to our recordings I got the idea of a kind of puzzle: places which fit to each other like parts of an overall image, which „slide“ one into the other but with some parts being a sharp interruption. They must have their place as well in the general portrait.

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We fell quite in love with Fuerteventura. We missed the fisher who still could play music with simple stones, because he suddenly was frightened to be recorded. We missed the mysterious birds coming home at night from the ocean and making strange sounds, because it was not possible to find the place in the dark. We did not hear the „singing“ lanterns. Or was it all just a legend?

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We felt we would have needed to stay longer, but the many hours of recordings should to be enough for a quite personal soundscape of this island, which is so much more mysterious than sound recordings can document.

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My composition will try to get back to the atmosphere of the obvious and the hidden, the recognizable and the mysterious, the natural and the artificial. It will not be a concrete or completely abstract sound portrait, but rather the attempt to create an atmosphere which makes it possible for the listener to imagine a world beyond the audible.

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