Bayou Coquille, Louisiana

by Jeff GbureK

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These recordings were made in and around Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve, Bayou Coquille, Barataria, Lousiana, in what we still, today, call the USA.

It must have been between 2001 and 2005. I can't pin it down precisely yet. But it all registered in one day and one night. On one of those trips between New Orleans and New Mexico in those south by southwest highway years, stopovers in Houston and Austin welcome and inevitable.

The last three tracks are disputable of place although I am convinced one at least was made in Austin, Texas (in Tom and Christina or Heather's yard) in some typically cricket carolling and cicackada filled evening of the heat inevitably not far from the whirrrr of an air conditioner or swamp cooler or what have you. The careful listener can detect the difference between the moods, the air pressure even, the strong urban noise backwash--in those last 3 tracks.

But the majority of what you hear is the swampland of Bayou Coquille, Louisiana, not far from New Orleans. We arrived early in the AM by car. The park is an array of cascading tearraced board-walks across the trees growing out of the water, the reeds, vines, the hanging mosses, And these sounds.

I recorded on MD with a stereo condensor mic starting on my approach to the park entrance. And one can discern these transitions wherein I chose to stop recording and when to recommence. The sequence of the recordings is strictly chronological. There are no post-production moves other than the choice to blend certain shorter tracks together with a simple overlapping of the last few seconds and I am happy to say they are aesthetically pleasing ruptures that also inform us of the medium in which I am working in this instance.

There are shorter and longer passages. All changes reflect my changes of position in the area. The result is rather a 360 degree sonogram of the park and it's surroundings. Many moments of uncanny accidental natural orchestsration interweaving as if the thread of it all is pulled by your own nose or vice versa.I am not expert enough to tell you all the species of insect, frog, reptile, waterfowl and other birds in the mix here with the eerie low thrumming sound of those boats whose engines run a huge fan or perhaps some kind of hydrofoil. I also cannot comment comprehensively on how this complex littoral environment must have by now changed by hurricane Katrina, the BP oil-spill, etc but we cannot imagine such changes to be insignificant. Nor can I explain the couple speaking perhaps Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, Cambodian or, who knows, I can't tell myself.They were the only other visitors there with us on that day.

The recordings will give you evidence for other questions, no doubt. And I welcome hearing from anyone who can identify what they are hearing. It's been a pleasure listening to these moments again, to have made them, and a triple pleasure sustained to be able to share them with you.

Jeff Gburek,
Poznań, Polska,
March, 2012

Cover photo by Belinda Sopczak


released March 11, 2012



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Jeff Gburek Projects Poland

guitarist, composer, improvisor, sound artist, prepared guitar, unprepared guitars, stones, found objects, phonography, electronics, digital manipulation.studied Javanese and Balinese gamelan music, developed as a percussionist studied the theories of Partch and Xenakis while working in the dance/theater/butoh project Djalma Primordial Science.STEIM residency and Darmstadt summer. ... more

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