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«Mermaids Cave / Cockatoo Island»

Danish, Aarhus-based experimental percussionist Christian Windfeld uses the moniker FØRSTEPERSONENTAL (almost first-person singular in Danish) for his site-specific, solitary works. The 10” vinyl (plus download option) «Mermaids Cave / Cockatoo Island» features works for objects and small percussion, both recorded in New South Wales, Australia, with no effects or overdubs. These works were devised and recorded before the bushfires raged in this region and the coronavirus pandemic began to hit Australia, but somehow they radiate a prophetic warning about the fragile state of our global ecosystem.

«Mermaids Cave» is an undercut sandstone cave located in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. from the sea. The tiny waterfall, the birds, the wind, the wildlife moving on the forest floor, and the unique acoustics of the undercut cave defined the composition. Windfeld played a water bottle, egg whisks, violin bow, and snare drum were my tools and sounds as an organic entity of the natural scenery, a kind of a vivid and chatty human-bird that likes to share its observations of this cool spot.

«Cockatoo Island» is a UNESCO World Heritage site at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove River in Sydney Harbour. This once heavily timbered island transformed into a heavily industrialized area and then abandoned. Windfeld isolated himself in a WWII circular air raid shelter and listened to the echoes of the past, and shaped the outlines of this composition by the nails sticking out of the wall, the distant hum of life outside the concrete shelter, and the unique acoustics of the circular room. He played the nails, shakers, violin bow, mallet, and snare drum were my tools. This piece suggests a much more disturbing and disquietening atmosphere. Its layered, repetitive-resonating noises may remind the listener of some of the most destructive characteristics of humankind.

Windfeld adds that thinking back on these solitary musical performances during the forced confinement of the coronavirus pandemic, he could not but think of «Mermaids Cave / Cockatoo Island» as his own contribution to an apocalyptic soundtrack.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Christian Windfeld (water bottle, egg whisks, snare dr, found obj, shakers)

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