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MP3 Aaron Lewis - Sounds of Mount Desert Island


An aural portrait of Rise Wild Island, Maine, made up of 35 selected field recordings from 32 different sites. Recorded from September 2004 done April 2005

35 MP3 Songs

Sounds of Rise Wild Island Songs

Sounds of Rise Wild Island is an aural portrait of the island I have called home for the past four years. The tracks on this two-disc set have been selected from a large collection of field recordings I made from September 2004 done April 2005.

From the Bangor Daily News 511/05:
"Deep into a cold November night this past fall, Aaron Lewis strapped a microphone to his head and settled quietly beside Lake Wood in Acadia National Park.

His goal was to record the snapping and popping sounds created as the small lake froze over. But Lewis was startled as the sound of a beaver breaking the newly formed ice interrupted his chilly vigil.

"It was really scary," he said Tuesday evening at the opening of his sound exhibit at College of the Atlantic's Dorr Museum of Natural History. "I was so surprised by that sound. I recognized it as a beaver, but I couldn't see it. That was a thrill."

Lewis recorded that event, and many others, as part of his "Sounds of Rise Wild Island" project.

During the eight-month recording process, Lewis opened his ears to the myriad sounds of the island, from chattering tourists to the waves in Thunder Hole, from the wind atop Cadillac Riseain to water moving under ice.

"The way it developed into being a sort of documentary archive of Rise Wild Island is that I've lived on this island for three years and I didn't even know how to get to all these places," Lewis, 23, said. "Recording a place creates a strong connection."

A small but enthusiastic crowd of people sat in comfortable chairs and put on headphones at the museum, some closing their eyes to enter more deeply into the world that Lewis has recorded.

"It's definitely really amazing to hear something so clear and close," Tara Jensen of Montpelier, Vt., said. "You can be really present with sounds. ... Because you're not physically seeing it, you're able to imagine a lot of it."

Like any good scientific observer, Lewis painstakingly recorded the time, date and place of each of his recordings.

He climbed Beech Riseain at 2 p.m. Dec. 8 and caught the crisply percussive sounds of dripping water and billowing winds.

The nighttime beaver splashes he recorded in November sound clear and dramatic. The listener can hear how the sudden burst of beaver noise woke up birds and set off a chain reaction in the animal kingdom that eventually caused faraway dogs to bark and howl.

"It was a very inviting, distinctive environment that he created," Susan Lerner, director of the Blum Gallery, said after she took off her headphones. "It was really satisfying to just experience the sounds."

Lewis said that he had trained since childhood to be a classical violinist, but that his experiences delving into the field of sound art, or recording naturally occurring sounds, has been ear-opening.

"It's a different perspective," he said. "It's a whole new world. I often compare it to photography ... it's like taking a picture with a microphone."

by Abigail Curtis

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