**Edition of 200** Master field recordist, Carlos Casas has been an award-winning filmmaker and visual artist, who also developed a singular, adjacent practice in sound. Mahalla Soundscape is an audio document of his cross-disciplinary exhibition at the Uzbek pavilion at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.
As Casas explains in his own words, included in the accompaning poster/booklet included in this release, “Mahalla Soundscape is a work of Sonic Ecology, aspiring to use sound to conserve, document and present the richness of the traditional neighbourhoods of Tashkent. It is both an architectural model and a composition, and, most vitally, an act of preservation. Mahallas are ancient urban environments, rich in interconnections, full of historical intricacies, and inhabited by keepers of tradition. Their sonic and acoustic qualities are in some ways as essential to their preservation as are their brick and rammed earth structures and labyrinthine alleys, streets and paths. The courtyard houses and gardens there are a great example of how rural and urban living can fruitfully coexist. In proposing an alternative to the exponential urban models now found in any modern city, the mahalla presents a sustainable model for modern urban rural living. Mahalla Soundscape is simultaneously an expanded ethnography of these neighbourhoods, and a way to preserve their acoustic environments for future generations. It is a spatial sound composition that presents the Uzbek mahallas’ rich aural ecology.”
Conceptually fascinating, belonging to an entirely singular practice and way of working, Mahalla Soundscape reveals a wonderfully transitory sonic world entirely its own. The result is one of those releases that acts as a portal to another musical dimension.