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Best of 2021

Lawrence English

A Mirror Holds The Sky (Book + CD)

Label: Room40

Format: Book + CD

Genre: Sound Art

In stock


* Matt laminate and embossed sleeve, insert card, CD and 48 page perfect bound book featuring photographs by Lawrence English, taken on location in the Amazon  * From Lawrence English: "In late months of 2008, I had the great fortune to spend some weeks in the Amazon. The visit, facilitated through Francisco Lopez's Mamori Artlab residency, remains one of the most deeply affecting experiences I have had . . . Living in Australia, tropical rainforests are not foreign to me. I would even say I am rather at home in them. My family, who lived and worked on the land of the Ngajanji people, had an admiration for, or in the very least a respect of, the rainforest. What makes time spent in the jungles of the Amazon different however is the scale and sheer volume (metaphoric and literal) of the life that inhabits it. Hundreds of thousands of narratives are in play moment to moment, their interactions flow together forming a perpetual cascade of arrival and departure, fertility and decay -- these fundamental states are intrinsically linked and constantly informing one another . . . To listen in the jungle is to listen in close relief -- in every square meter, thousands of insects cry out, their voices reducing the horizon of listening to a matter of centimeters at certain times of the day (and night) . . . The abundance of birds, mammals, beetles, flies, ants and so many other creatures are a source of constant and evolving fascination. In the lakes and rivers too, the hydro-sonic environments are perpetual and effortlessly deep . . .

A Mirror Holds The Sky is in some ways an act of acoustic and temporal compression. It is a rendering down of the lived-in moments and environments that became points of intense listenership. If I am to be honest, it has taken me the better part of a decade to know how to approach this archive of materials. I owe a debt of gratitude to Chico Dub at Festival Novas Frequências, who very gently encouraged me to realize a piece for diffusion as part of his program in 2019. That invitation retuned my ears and in the process unlocked a way of approaching the mammoth 50+ hours of recordings I had gathered during my time there. I also owe a special debt of gratitude to my wife Rebecca, who was instrumental in gathering some of these recordings. Her ears reflected an entirely other set of interests than my own and without that, this piece would be substantially less than what it is." 48-page perfect bound book featuring photographs by English, taken on location in the Amazon.

Cat. number: RM4140
Year: 2021

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