The Garden of Earthly Delights
Released July 2018 by Visible Near Midnight Recordings, as a limited edition of 25 hand-made and hand-numbered CDr’s.
Sharon Gal - voice, glass, bells, electronics, field & found recordings
1. Speak and Spells 05:08
2. Forest Song 07:33
3. Three 03:30
4. Dance of the Sirens 11:07
5. In the Garden of Earthly Delights 14:42
The Garden of Earthly Delights explores bioacoustics, field & found recordings; focusing on the voice and its cross- species expression by different animals.
The music includes a range of sounds, utterances and expressions by various types of birds, monkeys and human voices. The pieces emerged through a process of layering, bringing together unrelated found sounds, and new recordings of my own voice, Glass and Bells. Some of this was left as is and untouched, while other material was manipulated, reshaped and treated electronically, ending up sounding nothing like the original.
This process of juxtaposing and merging sounds by diverse species which do not necessarily interact or share the same environment, gave rise to an imaginary landscape. I was recording at home and sounds were flowing in from outside; garden birds’ chatter mixing with the calls of exotic birds, London’s Crows and Magpies in a fantastic dialogue with Howler monkeys.
The Garden has long been a symbol of earthly paradise; a place of solace and contemplation where the soul joins nature and the inner life is cultivated, where we have the most beautiful vision of all of life’s colour and fullness. It also represents coexistence, inclusion and community.
While sitting in the garden, listening, the image of Hieronymus Bosch’ triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, came to mind. I looked it up online and discovered a transcription of a short piece of music, written on the derrière of one tortured soul which is crushed by a harp. It appears on the right-hand panel, the one representing Hell. The music was transcribed to modern notation by Amelia Hamrick. It was shared online and went viral. I decided to record my own interpretation of this 500 years old “butt chant” and title the work after the painting.
My rendition, which concludes this album, brings together sounds from the garden and the song, in a new sonic space-time which is both real and out-worldly.
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