dusk — dawn

electroacoustic composition, vespertine listening
field recordings, analog photographs
cassette & digital — 27:11
published by Audio Visuals Atmosphere

Originally thought and shown as an acousmatic sound installation, the piece dusk — dawn is a field recording composition which invites the audience to listen to a city from dusk to dawn by embodying a figure who wanders from one acoustic encounter to another. What happens to the urban soundscape once its human population is asleep? Putting the emphasis on the little heard sounds of a city, the composition allows listeners to dive in buildings’ drafts, bats’ calls, empty train stations’ ultrasounds, singing escalators, talking swans, humming electrical junction boxes, and birds’ dawn choruses. Documentary at times, surreal at others, the piece proposes an electroacoustic excursion by mixing and processing a set of sounds recorded at night in the city of Berlin during the lockdown and curfew period of spring 2021.

Special thanks to the crepuscular animals that have lent me their voices, and warm thanks to Madelyn Byrd (Slowfoam), Diane Barbé, Mathieu Bonnafous, Sophie Heldt, Niels Geybels, Yannick Dauby, and Corinne Diserens.

Nocturnal listening recommended.

— sounds and photographs gathered in berlin, may and june 2021 — layered and processed in berlin, june 2021
— originally shown as an acousmatic sound installation in bruxelles, june 2021
— recorded with Sound Devices MixPre-6 II, Sony PCM-D100, LOM's Usi Pro, and LOM's Geofón
— formats: cassette & digital
— mastered by Adam Badí Donoval
— published by Audio Visuals Atmosphere — march 2022

“Over the past two years, sonic pollution was reduced to levels not experienced in our lifetimes. And yet, as quiet as the daytime might be, the nighttime was even quieter ~ and thanks to curfew, few experienced it. […] Pablo became a night owl, eager to hear what else might be going on ~ what Simon & Garfunkel might have called “The Sound of Silence” paired with John Cage’s oft-quoted “there’s no such thing as silence.” […] June’s Berlin nights last seven and a half hours; on this cassette, the night lasts 27 minutes.  The compression increases the drama, creating a narrative that builds to snore-like hums in the 23rd minute, followed by the click of bicycle wheels: an early riser. Diserens is still walking, meeting the morning birds. Never again will one be able to capture such tranquil nights (or so we hope, should the pandemic never return).  dusk — dawn may seem solitary, but never sounds lonely.  Diserens’ recording is a reminder that even when isolated, we are never sonically alone.”  A Closer Listen (Richard Allen)

© Pablo Diserens — 2020 →  2024