A Sound Map of the Danube
Between the winter of 2001 and the summer of 2004, I made five field-recording trips, moving slowly down the Danube from the sources in the Black Forest through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania to the great delta on the Black Sea, recording the river?s sounds (at the surface and underwater), aquatic insects, and the various inhabitants of its banks. At 2880 km. (1785 miles) the Danube is Europe?s second longest river and one of its most historically significant, having long been a trade and cultural conduit between east and west. Its drainage basin encompasses much of Central Europe and it has carved out deep gorges dividing the southern arm of the Carpathians from the Balkan Mountains.
I recorded from the banks, finding a great variety of water sounds as the gradient and bank materials changed, often feeling that I was hearing the process of geological change in real time. Towards the end of the final field trip, while listening to small waves slap into a rounded overhang the river had carved in a mud bank in Rasova, Romania (CD 3 track 2), I realised that the river has agency; it composes itself, shaping its sounds by the way it sculpts its banks.
Along the way I spoke with people for whom the Danube is a central influence on their lives, an integral part of their identity, asking them ?What does the river mean to you? Could you live without it?? They responded in their native languages and dialects, their voices woven into the river?s sounds, placed as close to the location where I met them as possible. ?What is a river?? was the question underlying the whole project for me.
Many people helped with every aspect of the project at every stage, and I am deeply grateful for their generosity and interest. The installation, A Sound Map of the Danube, was completed in 2005 and first presented during the Donau Festival in Krems, Austria. It was mixed in 5.1 surround sound with audio engineer Paul Geluso at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts in New York, and this version was re-mixed in stereo in 2008.
Susan Huyser, map design; Baker Vail, map illustration; Ruth Anderson, photographs; By Design, CD design, ; Tom Hamilton, CD mastering
With gratitude I thank the following organizations and people for their support of the original installation project: the Artists Exploration Fund, Arts International, Josef Aichinger and the Klangraum Krems-Minoritenkirche AIR program, Josef Cseres, Dr. Gerhard Gensch and the Zentrum f?r Zeitgen?ssische Musik, the Donau-Universit?t Krems, Dr. Sabine Grupe, Maggi Payne.
And those who generously gave their time to talk with me about the river: Inspector Josef Cerwenka, Dr. Bernhard Everke, Michael Fr?schl, Vania Hinkova, Jan?s Horv?t, Gizela Beba Ivkovic?, Csaba Kiss, Captain Helmut Morocutti, Rainer Moschak, Luise Reissner, Lambert Spadinger, Nicolau Vergos, Martin Z?berl.
Voices translated by: Ivana Dragasevic, Gisela Gamper, Sorrel Hays, Lala Howard, Anamaria Ignisca, Zerina Kratovac, Yuliana Petkova, Vicky Shick.
This project was funded in part by the Artists Exploration Fund, Arts International.
Copyright ? by Annea Lockwood 2005.
CD 2083 DDD
Copyright CP Lovely Music 2008