MARC BEHRENS – Animistic (For Donatella)

(Auf Abwegen)

As usual, Marc Behrens’ configurations give some food for thought. By listening to “Animistic” we’re projected into an almost intimidating no man’s land, as Behrens’ field recordings are integrated in a soundscape where apparent silences dominate the first part (there’s always something lurking underneath, even in the quietest sections) then most of the acoustic indications take the shape of a deeply resonant hum or some kind of rumble. Tibetan bells and a metal chair were also used to rupture this document’s quietness. What really strikes is the sense of solitude transmitted by the natural sources: the composer reports that his perception of an “animist” understanding of a landscape’s sound came out strongly during his customary walks through the hill forests near Frankfurt and the Italian/Slovenian border. The whispering wind and a flock of rooks seem to suggest a means of communication to that very nature in which Behrens tries to find possibilities of music that’s not made by humans. These doubts – and an even stronger feeling of extraneous presence – are reinforced by “Decaying study 3″, an engrossing juxtaposition of frequencies halfway through radio waves and nuclear winds, whose intensity level ranges from the barely audible to a pre-explosive dangerous feeling. Despite the many questions proposed, Behrens is one of those artists whose work can withstand a thousand tests and still refuse logical explanations. But, just like his countryman Asmus Tietchens, he manages to touch emotional spots that many of their peers can’t even detect.


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