Serra d'Ensija  



2 August 2019 14:59

Above the refugi Delgado Úbeda / refugi d'Ensija

Sheep and goats at a distance with bells
< > Steven Feld: Time of Bells

When sounds come to you from a distance over the terrain, at low volume, the sense of the subject dilates, going out into that area (whereas loud sounds constrict that sense).
Udo Noll (in passing - adapted)

Recording made towards the later part of a walk from the Coll de la Creu de Fumanya, up over the Coll de l'Estret onto the Roca Blanca and along the ridge to the Gallina Pelada, where there is a steel box with a message book. Then descending towards the refugi, you look down onto a circ with a watering point.
The North side of the slopes is quite different from the ascent, with grazed prairie rather than rocky scrub.
The sky is open and the wind comes across the open plain. Each microphone was placed among the needles of a small conifer near the ground.
A shepherd and two dogs were moving the large flock across the open saucer towards the far side and the Coll by the Pla de les Tores.
Perhaps after walking, too, you are in a partly somnolent state: the bells come to you in waves of polyrhythms which can't be disentangled. The body is entrained - you feel them - you are amazed, the way you are amazed when s played you a youtube clip of Keith Jarret, in which he stands up from the piano stool and raises his face - but on the other hand a lack of action is over you: you are partially absorbed or distributed your selves in the surroundings - that involvement, which gathers over time as you walk over terrain, moving from scale to scale, picking your way - that partial diffusion creates the somnolence, the semi dreaming and partially entranced state in which you are hearing these sounds propagate, created by countless bells (lukuki)

You wonder how the shepherd hears the bells, across the valley on the hill, sitting leaning on a stick, if they can hear individual sheep and goats or how they register changes in the mood in different areas of the flock by ear, as they oversee, you can say, production of the intangible heritage of transhumance through these high mountain landscapes, as they are jointly produced with livestock, wild herbivores, vultures, et al under these wide open skies
Such thoughts come imprecisely to mind as you are there and afterwards in London, where you have just learned of the passing of a-c on Saturday in the morning, whom you remember crossing with a sideways glance across the yard as Stave Hill at SC6, a thin figure already then in the undertow of illness, slipping quickly the way somebody crosses a stage who is not part of the main drama but is using the stage to quickly get across on another errand - a pressing errand which cannot be summarised - with a quick smile of acknowledgement passing away to the left - the way now she has passed back into time
p told you m and m were fitting out a flat in the basement of their house, giving onto the garden, where they would move when one of them died
you think of sf with his microphones held by this sides, moving and turning among the milling animals in the cobbled streets of ______ in the first track of time of bells, to be over lain and overwhelmed in time by the tolling of the great bell of the rural bell tower, the way before he moved among the performers as they improvised the mourning of persons lost through death or displacement, who returned via memento mori in the form of voices of birds, especially fruit doves
you lay or sat or stood or walked and listened to the bell of borredá through the sequence of night and day, over some three weeks, softly and incisively ringing the quarters, alternately heard and unheard by you all, as you went about your activities - sometimes there - soemetimes away in the mountains - sometimes gone
M is planning an installation on the moon: he will send a grain of sand, representing the difference required to be added or subtracted to adapt a giant eggtimer for measuring a terrestrial or lunar year. The crew at the ESA will be able to meditate on that grain as they go about their activities, to imagine the magnitude - at once great and small - of what they are doing



Credits

Cambria Road Projects
Neus and family at Borredá
Rutes Pireneus