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human nature

by Karen Power

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loved bees 03:03


human nature (2020) contains 18 new compositions by Irish composer Karen Power, which are tied together through the singular concept of pairing human with nature: 1 musician with 1 un-processed field recording.

(Due to the naturally large dynamic range of these field recordings, it is highly recommend listening to this CD on a good quality sound system.)

'All of the field recordings are essentially composed spaces in terms of choice of microphones, placement, duration, as I consider field recording of this kind the first stage of composition. Although the original recordings were made without knowledge of this series, they are still ‘loaded’ with my creative intention and unique listening experience.

Field recordings are sonic ‘snapshots’ of real life events. They originate outside of any ‘musically constructed world’, but that is not to say that they do not contain ‘musical’ elements. Over many years of composing and listening/recording, I have focused on hearing the many connections between our worlds naturally occurring sonic events and our more constructed musical world. For this CD, I have chosen 18 extracts from thousands of field recordings I have made between 2012 - 2019. Each field recording has been chosen because - at the time of the recording - I recall feeling/hearing an integral ‘musical’ element, which is further enhanced by pairing it with a musician and their musical instrument.

Field recordings can exist and adhere to their own time / rhythm / harmony / pacing and micro/macro structure. In this series, each recording has been largely removed from its macro structure/context, which means that they can perhaps be heard as sonically-afloat, or temporarily unattached. Each performer - as the duet partner - has the potential to re-anchor, or provide a new context that is governed by each unique pairing. Together instrument + field recording carve out momentary sonic spaces that enable each of us to bring music and our world together in a very personal way. For example - those of you who have been to the Amazon rainforest might hear the frogs in Amazonian frogs within the context of your own Amazonian experience. Or perhaps you understand the language being spoken in European transport hub, which might alter your hearing of that piece and the relationship between human and nature.

Every piece on this CD is an invitation to listen, to hear each unique exchange between human and animal/place/nature/industry. To delve into new sonic territories with 18 leading and extraordinary musicians, who emanate from a variety of backgrounds and musical contexts. Each of these miniature pieces stands alone, but also belong to a series that exhibits a range of different musical elements that are then enhanced through each duet. I wish to thank all of the featured musicians on this CD…each one offering so much.'
Karen Power

human nature is conceived, composed and mastered by Karen Power. All performances were made at home, in private and recorded using whatever technology was available to each performer.


released September 4, 2020

Photograph + Album Cover by John Godfrey


all rights reserved



Composer Karen Power Dublin, Ireland

I am an Irish composer, based in Cork, Ireland.
Every day environments and how we hear every day sounds lies at the core of my work. I have listened and recorded in some of the worlds most isolated and challenging locations: The Arctic, Amazon, Namib Desert and Outback Australia and have found musical inspiration in the natural world. ... more

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