[ARENA] Sleppet, new CD by Marc Behrens

miguel carvalhais miguel carvalhais.org
Quarta-Feira, 28 de Outubro de 2009 - 16:47:06 WET



Sleppet originated from a sound art project in 2007, when six renowned  
artists ˜ Natasha Barrett, Bjarne Kvinnsland, Steve Roden, Chris  
Watson, Jana Winderen and Marc Behrens ˜ recorded sounds on a 10-day  
trip through the Norwegian Westlandet region and used the nature  
experience for a couple of sound installations and music pieces.

Sleppet leads back to Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, for whom  
contemplation of nature and its influence on the artistic creation had  
high significance.
Sleppet deals with the energy and the transformation processes of the  
early springtime.

In the frame of the composition, realized exclusively with concrete  
sound material, Behrens created several parentheses: the first part  
starts with an unaltered field recording of a clamouring flock of  
seagulls as exposition, from which this part is further developed. The  
final part ends with an equally unaltered recording of a springlike  
forest patch with various songbirds, a few kilometers up the hill in  
the fjord valley ˜ in which seagulls can be discerned in the distance.  
Bird song can be heard at other points within the piece, as by- 
products of recording other sounds, as sound windows into spring.

The second parenthesis consists of the sonic intensity of drones used  
in the first and the last part ˜ in the first part sounding like a  
string group alongside acute cymbals, in the last part sounding purely  
electronic, but always displaying a certain sonority. Such nearly  
tonal quality does not exist in the middle parts of the piece. Instead  
of that, the third, rather noisy parenthesis depicts movements of  
tilting, slipping off and falling, as culminations within the internal  
structure: a rubble avalanche (the loudest one in a sequence in part  
2), and a collapsing part of a glacier (which closely missed Behrens  
when he recorded melt water drops), after or framed by audible melting.

Acoustic utterances of animal impatience, which belong to nordic  
spring like the melting of snow and ice, bring forward the  
composition: besides the clamour of seagulls there is the noise of  
impatient cattle, still chained inside their stable. The atmosphere of  
a sheep shed in the final part picks up the theme again, but is almost  
completely warped by noises from a hydroelectric powerplant and a ferry.

Phases of contraction (loud, dense) and expansion (quieter, sometimes  
permeable) define the structures of parts 4 and 5. The first three  
parts show a somewhat more consistent sound impression. At many points  
in parts 1ˆ4, figure/ground and foreground/background relations are  
fathomed out.
The great movements throughout the course of the 41-minute piece put  
focus onto the rendering conscious of accumulating and discharging  



01 (1) Seagulls and Cattle
02 (2-3) Avalanches, Water and Stones
03 (4) Glacier
04 (5) Sheep and Industry


Composed and produced by Marc Behrens in 2007-2008 in Bergen, Oslo and  
Frankfurt am Main. Basic material recorded in Gloppen, BErgen, on  
Utvær island, at Brenndalsbreen glacier and close to Røsskleivvatnet  
lake, Norway. Photograph taken at Fitje (Gloppen), Norway. Cover  
design by MC & MB.

Sleppet appears on CD by kind permission of Deutschlandradio Kultur.  
The work was completed in June 2008 for a world premiere broadcast on  
Deutschlandradio Kultur, curated by Götz Naleppa.



The CD is now available directly from Crónica, through Boomkat or Zero  


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