ambisonic composition

The wind, a planetary organism, has no sound of its own. Instead, it produces it in contact with other organisms. The wrinkled surface of the planet is the wind’s vocal cord. It catches in taut strings, roars in tubes, whistles through cracks in edifices, blows away tiny grains of sand and rustles on soft surfaces. The rapid and persistent swirling of airwaves circles the land and oceans in the imbalance of heat and cold. Every atom in the atmosphere changes its place. Every breathing-in follows a breath-out.

In my small night, ah
the wind has a date with the leaves of the trees
in my small night, there is the agony of destruction
listen
do you hear the darkness blowing?
I look upon this bliss as a stranger
I am addicted to my despair.
listen
do you hear the darkness blowing?
— Forugh Farrokhzad, The Wind Will Take Us

Premiere: Institute of Sonology, Concertzaal – Amare, The Hague (NL), 29 March 2023
Pre-premiere of live version: beepblip and Ina Puntar, Predihanja, Defonija + Keltika (Jazz Cerkno), Gromka Club, AKC Metelkova, Ljubljana (SI), 6. marec 2023

This Beautiful Earth, clouds from above, 2023. Photo by Ida Hiršenfelder.

The howling wind is intelligible as it disintegrates into discrete granulation and heavy reverberation. In this composition, voices tell a story of reverse personification — geofication. The breathing voices emphasise the inspiration/exhalation effect of the wind. Through involuntary respiration, every breathing creature becomes wind every minute of its living days. The voices create a tautology between meaning and sounds. They nudge the listener toward a geostory, telling a tale of sounds that do not serve a representational function but instead produce their own reality. In attentive listening of a wind recording inside a building, a whole choir of voices starts to appear in thickly layered swinging howling. Strong wind usually dampens the eagerness of any field recordist due to unavoidable boom distortion. Using DIY piezo pickups and a nylon string taut between two poles, I capture high-pitched glissandi of the wind. When its speed reaches above 6 knots, I resort to recording resonating bodies. The wind moves in one direction and swirls in half-spirals. It attacks swiftly and then slowly decays, accompanied by the rustling of leaves, hail, dust, sand, and other small-sounding objects that the wind carries on its journey.

Resonating Strings, piezo on a nylon string and geophone on an iron fence, the Westduinpark in Scheveningen, 2022. Photo by Ida Hiršenfelder.

Atomic Sun, a field recording of the wind in Scheveningen, 2022. Photo by Hugo Lorient.

Wind Will Blow Us Away, mapped video projection on the balcony of the Conservatorium Zaal at Amare. Instagram story by Veniero Rizzardi.

Voice: Ina Puntar, Snježana Premuš, Anja Bornšek
Video editing: Ida Hiršenfelder
Announced release date: 3 March 2024

Special thanks to Justin Bennett, Otso Aho, Hugo Lorient, Michal Kindernay, Giulia Francavilla

Onomatopoeic sound associations: Šumenje, vihranje, šepetanje, sipanje, šušljanje, brnenje, pevanje, zavijanje, škripanje, sopotanje, zven, drvenje, šviganje, norenje, zvok, hrup, žuborenje, fijukanje. / whistling, howling, whirling, rustling, swooshing, murmuring, blowing, swishing, moaning, rustling, rushing, gusting, sighing, wailing, whooshing, fluttering, roaring, soughing, rumbling, swirling / 呼呼、沙沙、飒飒、哗哗、飕飕、潺潺、嘶嘶。