Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
African Sounds at Dusk
Genres: World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop
Sounds from a vanished place and time
James Remsen, Jr. | Lindenhurst, NY USA | 05/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wild Africa--truly wild Africa--doesn't exist anymore. Its death knell began with the days of colonialism, and the segmenting of its vast wilderness into games reserves, while preserving the wildlife, still manages to subject these creatures to such 21st century pressures as poaching and a surrounding human population that is spiralling out of control. What Anthony Walker has captured on this disc is therefore all the more remarkable. He has taken his recording equipment into Africa and brought back a remarkable collection of wildlife sounds that make you feel as though you have been dropped into the middle of the vast wilderness that was once Africa. He concentrates on the sounds that portray the coming of night to the African savanna. This is one of the most astonishing discs of nature sounds that I have ever heard. These are sounds most of us are not prepared to appreciate. Most of us have forgotten the pure sounds of nature that our species evolved listening to. Walker opens our ears. There is beauty here, but not always the kind that reveals itself immediately. Still, even if you don't find these sounds all that musical, upon first playing this disc you certainly will feel a certain awe. A black cuckoo sings a lament to the dying day. Hippos splash and grunt contently in a riverside pool. A robin-chat delivers a sweet, melodious song. The crystal clarity of these recordings is remarkable. Gradually, as night closes down, the hunters emerge. Lions roar, for at night they do most of their hunting. There is a fairly lengthy section on the disc devoted to a night chorus of owls and other nocturnal birds. The sweet song of the fiery-necked nightjar stands out among these vocalists; if you have watched any movie or nature show set in Africa, you have probably heard this bird on the soundtrack. You'll recognize its melancholy whistled song easily, even if you don't know the name of the singer. And the frogs of the African night are something else; they are LOUD! Two full frog choruses round out the CD's contents. I am writing this review because this is not a CD that will sell a million copies; if you've even found it at amazon.com, then clearly you must have some interest in hearing nature's sounds. This is not a "relaxation" disc however, to be put on and assimilated into the subconscious, like white noise. It is a portrait in sound, just as a photographer composes a portarit on film, to be listened to and actively treasured. For an hour at least, in the mind, we can be transported to a wild, legendary, almost forgotten place, and thrill to the excitement it must have held for those who experienced it. I have never met Anthony Walker, but I thank him for the gift the sounds he brought back from Africa have given me, and will give anyone who opens their ears to the voices of the wild."