this edition of framework:afield has been produced by john hopkins, aka neoscenes, and is entitled water fills the hall. notes from the producer:
water fills the hall is a sustained drift through the hopkins/neoscenes personal archive of field recordings relating to water. There is no detailed playlist as the work is a multi-track layering of sources and includes essences of several hundred field recordings from four continents. Many of the individual field recordings are available on the aporee::maps field recording project under the neoscenes moniker.
To sketch a few: it opens in the Mojave desert, as flies collect around the body of a dead rattlesnake, the dry air desiccating the corpse; there is organ practice by the harbor in Sydney; and wandering through the Pergammon on the Spree; students protesting along the Vilna River; monsoon rains and thunders, falling and filling desert cisterns in the High Sonoran desert; telecom wires hum in moist Arctic chill; melt-waters slowly cleave the Rocky Mountains to dust; film projectors clatter while representing fluid realities (homage to mentor and friend, film-maker Stan Brakhage); Geiger counters count what heavy waters we’ve made; rains falls on the roofs of hydrocarbon-fired chariots; rivers rage, and whining pumps pump the rivers; while F-18s storm in the wet clouds overhead, and baptisms soulfully bless the swimming pools; a plague of cicadas stands ready for the waters to recede, and is it Noah’s ark departing into an unknown future on the gray Baltic?
As a current and former resident of the US southwest with its tremendous water problems, the work is intended partly as a complex exploration of and meditation on water itself. Water in motion energetically yields sound; and thus, the work is about moving waters. Humans seek to direct those movements to their advantage with (lovingly graceful!) machinic systems, and in that lies a fundamental conflict. This is a mapping of that conflict: how the human species alters the flows of energy in the bio-system around itself.
The I Ching suggests that water simply flows, on and on, filling up all the places through which it moves. Nothing can make it lose its own essential nature: it remains true to itself under all conditions. What are we in the face of such an energized flux? Are we advancing or are we retreating with the tide? Will the rain wash our sins away? If we can swim, will we drown? Do we recall our amphibian soul? Are we thirsty for more? Are we simply thirsty?