...Outstanding!! Shaping the the sonic topography of the Norway’s northern sea with an enigmatic mixture of field recordings, manipulated sounds and other sonic debris, Angelica Castello has completed her best work to date.
In 2013, on the Lofoten archipelago, an island chain along Norway’s northern coastline, Angelica Castello met the biologist and bioacoustics researcher Heike Vester, who founded the organization Ocean Sounds in a fishing village named Henningsvær. Heike led Angelica to the whales found in the waters around the Lofoten islands. The field recordings and sounds they collected on these boat trips provide the acoustic framework for “sonic blue”, which is a beautiful but also dark and noisy composition that is best described with one simple word: magic. never before was there such a unique communication between the field recordings, the variety of sounds provided by the open ocean and the human musician. The LP includes liner notes by Susanna Niedermayr, the coherent artwork was done by Ralf Tronstoner.
It was clear from the start of the compositional process in February 2013 that “sonic blue” would be an essential piece in Angélica Castelló’s oeuvre. The 42-year-old composer, flutist and electronic sound designer from Mexico, who has been living in Vienna for several years now, embarked on an unusual journey with musikprotokoll co-curator Susanna Niedermayr. On the Lofoten archipelago, an island chain along Norway’s northern coastline, they met the biologist and bioacoustics researcher Heike Vester, who founded the organization Ocean Sounds in a fishing village named Henningsvær in 2005. Vester led Castelló and Niedermayr to the whales found in the waters around the Lofoten islands. The field recordings and sounds they collected on these boat trips provide the acoustic framework for “sonic blue”.
Under the Banner of Environmental Protection
Ocean Sounds is dedicated to the research of marine mammals and the protection of the marine environment. At the mouth of Vestfjord the oil industry continues to expand. During seismic surveys undertaken to find new oil and gas fields, underwater detonations of compressed air create shockwaves. The vibrations that are reflected back provide information to map the location, density, shape and composition of the rock layers, but they are also a massive intervention in the natural soundworld of aquatic life.
Deep in Many Respects
With “sonic blue”, the musician creates her own imaginary underwater world that immerses the audience into the great sea of sound produced by her subgreatbass recorder, Castelló’s main instrument. The composition process of this piece is an examination of the profound in yet another respect, for to Angélica Castelló the sea also symbolizes the subconscious. Susanna Niedermayr created a feature for “Hörbilder”, a series on the cultural radio station Ö1 which is run by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. The feature documents the unusual compositional process behind the piece that was premiered at the “ORF musikprotokoll festival im steirischen herbst” on October 6 2013.
In 2014, “Sonic Blue” won the Outstanding Artist Award – Interdisciplinarity from the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Arts and Culture More information about the making of sonic blue, as well as the feature can be found at: [sonicblue.klingt.org]
sonic blue was commissioned by „ORF musikprotokoll im steirischern herbst“ as a part of „Networking Tomorrow‘s Art for An Unknown Future“, a project by the festival network ECAS/ICAS (European and International Cities of Advanced Sound), working period 3 „Ubiquitous Art and Music. Art, Sound and the Everyday.“
composition, concept, mixing by angélica castelló
underwater recordings by: heike vester, richie herbst, angélica castelló
field recordings in norway: angélica castelló, richie herbst
field recordings in spitzbergen: susanna niedermayr
field recordings and other sounds: urkuma
all other sounds and paetzold recorder: angélica castelló
sound and mixing support by: alfred reiter
mastered by: martin siewert
cover and paintings by: ralf tronstoner