Doubts and wanderings of a field recordist / entry two

A very needed event happened – it rained. Fears have been growing that it is less frequent or less strong than what is needed. They say it’s becoming a desert while feelings of nostalgia are often and easily muttered between cigarettes and drinks with eyes shinning, whatever the time of the day is, as its very integrated mellow rhythm is exposed. There is a river that everyone misses – it’s now in the past as the dam opened its gates like a treacherous volcano.

There was… it was…. before it was… you should have seen how it was…. dense woods, this was a jungle. You’d sit right here and watch big birds flying over.

It’s no longer.

It is not without a punch of pain and conflict that I realise that I keep falling in love with a place that suffered so many structural changes and whose oldest memories that speak our albeit human language will be gone too fast. A few of those voices also know the language of the land, as if they were land themselves, and I find the relationship between them and the green some of the most intriguing, maybe as deep as the old river. If you are aware of the term ‘saudade’ and then you evoke this into a dream and take even more from one’s heart, that might be the feeling. What I feel from others. Despite we all have our sayings about before and a general resistance to what’s now.

But what I see – and now I see more and more – it’s monocultures, and I hear about prices rising and some of those families unrelated to the life here that make absurd amounts of money. Regardless of the infinite beauty – and how it extends through the never ending fields and moults through the seasons – I wonder how much of it are scars and alerting signs for a very inhospitable future. The water is lower this year, even if I contort myself and laugh over the paradox of wanting so much to be in, but it’s so cold now in the Spring that it hurts ab ove the waist. It doesn’t matter that much because it’s exhilarating to be in and go full body, and hear myself and the water between the hills on the sides. You see, maybe this a lonely quest but it’s essential to respect memories, to listen continuously, to make questions. Outwards and inwards too.

Sometimes I can feel like I’m the ground or just an insect that sunk into it and dissolves. This is the best state I find myself holding… the rights to account and register the moments, like skin on skin, no fear. These are my thoughts: listening is an active exercise, registering can be passive, and it can be disrespectful. Not everything is disposing itself to be recorded. It can be so intimate. How to record the ground? It has so many creases, so many paths, so many little animals, traces of animals. Am I now inevitably including that white big moon I confess now I cried a little every time I looked up to see her in a dazzling pink afternoon? If I have these feelings, I give myself no right to exclude the same to other living beings.

Provocative, I know. Complicated as much as the gift of our awareness, or whatever you are comfortable to call it.

Do I speak the same language? I imagine this will never stop growing as I hope to swim in this loop of curiosity, attention, perception feeding my contact with the rest of nature and so on…

Is it possible to entirely rewire myself to learn the language, perhaps?


Hopefully my last post, entry one, was the right kick off to fully open my philosophical dilemmas and maybe embarrass myself a bit as well. In a world where people believe there is a spiritual awakening of sorts (maybe there is, I don’t know, I’m sceptical) we still romanticise the natural world, classifying it as beautiful, while we maintain ourselves apart from it. Or maybe I shouldn’t say necessarily ‘apart’ but all my impression is that an utilitarian view is too much of a ghost hanging above and around.

Suggested further reading:

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