Review

Elliott S, Splendid E-Zine, September 22, 1997

Normally I’d take the sounds of the city over the ambience of a forest as the urban soundscape is more eventful and full of the unexpected. Westerkamp, though, is so gentle in her use of environmental sounds that the opening track, A Walk Through The City, doesn’t as convincingly find the composer in her element as Cricket Voice or Beneath the Forest Floor. The care given to these compositions is so delicate that you can’t help but feel as though you’ve entered a marvelous world of sound. What’s peculiar is that these sounds are nothing new to our ears, but the manner in which they’re assembled makes us more aware of the surrounding environment. On Kits Beach Soundwalk you can hear the faint sound of the city in the background, but as the narrative progresses the sound is filtered out in favor of magnifying the small sounds barnacles make. If DJ Shadow can be labeled the Jimi Hendrix of the sampler than it makes perfect sense that Hildegard Westerkamp is the Pauline Oliveros of such devices.

The care given to these compositions is so delicate that you can’t help but feel as though you’ve entered a marvelous world of sound.

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