Pablo Neruda writes, “Whoever isn’t listening to the sea this Friday morning, whoever is trapped inside some house, office, corner, factory … to that person I make my way. I will pass on the collapse of foam and liquid sand, the salty kiss of withdrawal … (and) bring solace to the downcast heart” (excerpted from “The Poet’s Task”, translated by Alfred Corn, from The West Door). Chris Silver T now takes this task upon himself. Recalling the family visits in which he “foraged for salt, shellfish and seagreens”, he returns to the Peloponnese to recapture the sounds and feelings of his childhood. After melding a series of recordings, he ends up with 15 minutes at the wrack line: the most active area of the shore.
One could not hope for a more pristine recording. The piece is constantly in motion, more rock than ambient. One can hear the spit of the curls as they hit the sand, the swirl of the waves as they surge around rocks, the drips of the water as it falls from cupped hands. Mysterious notes emerge from the reverberations, an aquatic carnival heard only at the shore. In the final third, wind whips the waves into a churn. Children play, undaunted, their cries of joy eventually entering the foreground.
Landlocked listeners are advised to download this release, and to bring it to work. These 15 wistful minutes are enough to provide a boost to any day. If we cannot get to the sea, Chris Silver T will bring the sea to us; if we cannot feel her touch, at least we will be able to hear her voice. (Richard Allen)