Galaxy Express 555 – ‘Ep. 3, S(oil) & Water: From the Nearctic to the Neotropic’

Posted by on February 2, 2017


“Listen to everything all the time and remind yourself when you are not listening.”
Pauline Oliveros

It’s in that spirit of mindfulness that longtime solo-recorder Christopher Farstad — otherwise known as 555 and one of the collaborators behind Food Pyramid (Moon Glyph, Discos Capablanca, et al)  — has been organizing a new “~podcast” project, dubbed Galaxy Express 555. I have podcast in quotes up there because Farstad has given some serious thought to the method of consumption here. For Galaxy Express 555, Farstad presents long-form ambient and experimental compositions as backdrops for unique field recording assemblages, with each episode boasting a “different approach to non-idiomatic sound synthesis.” According to his own description, the goal is “to cultivate a listenership that is more collaborative and participatory . . . By soliciting sound designers, archivists, sound artists, acoustic ecologists in addition to the listening public I provide a continuously-changing setting for creative work, while paying tribute to the part of my music scholarship that is interested in what poet Kenneth Goldsmith has dubbed ‘uncreative writing.’ Basically, foregrounding the wealth of raw information online in terms of documentation of natural habitats and ecology to serve as a backdrop for my own emotional catharsis and aesthetic research.”

The effect is, let’s face it, relaxing to say the least; disarming to the extent that it encourages listeners to set aside whatever toolbox they might have assembled for their own approach to listening. Episode one is set against recordings of a walk taken the to the Skandashram Cave in Tamil Nadu (via FreeSound.Org), while episode two features French field recorder Vincent DuSeigne’s trips down the Seine. The latest, ‘S(oil) & Water: From the Nearctic to the Neotropic,’ dives into the sound banks of French born and Mexico-based recorder Félix Blume in order to “create a collage of sound samples from either side of the Mexican/American border. Oil pumps in California and samples of a Pemex protest in Mexico City are woven together with the sounds of the Nearctic desert and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve to pay homage to the depth of our global interconnection.”

Stream episode three below or download here.