The sea is on fire.
I’m not a professional photographer but I tend to take a lot of pictures together with field recordings.
Mountains, insects, rivers, found objects, or else. The beauty of “nature”, the beauty and ugliness of human activities.
A picture of a littered beach will always represent a form of ugliness, a picture of a blown up house will always represent destruction but what can field recordings of that sort represent or express ? The ebb and flow of the sea, depending on the level of pollution and what kind of pollution, might not give the listener any clue about this or the silence of the empty house whose walls have collapsed might not tell you any concrete story.
I collect a lot of sounds and the heavily littered beach of Ishëm, in Albania, or the almost clean one of Hastings, in England, may sound the same, or almost.
Where does this or that sound come from ? I’m the only one to know.
Where does this or that photo come from ? I’m often the only one to know.
You see a graffiti that says “天滅中共”(“heaven destroys the CCP”, if I understand well) – where was it taking from ? I’m almost the only one to know - someone who will see my work and has been to Tallinn, Estonia, might know where exactly I took it. Yes, Estonia, not China, Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan.
Many graffiti I see express strong emotions : anger, hope, joy, sadness, discontent… They are not affected by borders, in our global world, they share many things in common, they are distant in space but share a similar emotional state – they also support causes that might be thousands of kilometres far away from where they have been painted.
I see a lot of common patterns, as well as with some of my photographs – such as a polluted river in Asia and a polluted beach in Europe.
The sea is said to be the place where life on Earth might have started and this is maybe where everything will end.
This audio piece is made of field recordings that I took in various times and places : Hong Kong, Kenya, Taiwan, Zambia, Germany, Egypt, Cambodia, China, Uganda, Mozambique, the UK, eSwatini, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey.
The photographs have been taken in the UK, Estonia, Lebanon, Albania, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey, Thailand, South Africa, eSwatini, Myanmar, Indonesia.
Many show similarities in the fight against injustice, political, social, environmental, some, not dissimilar at all, have been taken in various distant places. They tell us that we share a common ground, a common gloominess and at the same time common utopian and dystopian situations.
You are free to interpret the audio piece as you wish, it doesn’t openly express any precise message or direction but parts of it are obviously connected to these photographs and thoughts I have about the destruction of nature that happens everywhere, human omnipresence and resilience, unrest and hope.
Cedrik Fermont (aka C-drík, Kirdec, Cdrk) is a Berlin-based Belgian-Congolese composer, musician, mastering engineer, author, radio host, concert organiser, independent researcher and label manager (at Syrphe) who operates in the field of noise, electronic and experimental music since 1989.
His compositions and installations vary from sound art and electroacoustic to noise, to industrial to more conventional “dance” music such as electronica or acid and so on ; solo and in collaborative projects (as Axiome, Tasjiil Moujahed, Ambre, with Marie Takahashi, Luong Hue Trinh, Yan Jun, Mick Harris, Mark Spybey, Gülce Özen Gürkan and many more artists). He has toured extensively in Eurasia, Africa and North America, and his main research focuses on electronic, electroacoustic, experimental and noise music from Asia and Africa – history, sociocultural context and decolonisation.
He composed music for sound installations, theatre and choreographies, including collaborations with Robyn Orlin, Guangdong Modern Dance Company (GMDC) and Dao Anh Khanh.
In 2017 he released together with Dimitri della Faille the book Not Your World Music about noise music in South-East Asia, winner of the 2017 "Golden Nica" Prix Ars Electronica in the "Digital Musics & Sound Art" category. In 2005, his soundtrack for the experimental film Atalodz directed by Gisèle pape won the best prize at Côté Court festival, Paris/Montreuil, France.