Dunn here offers one of the richest audio exploration of the blend of the human and natural worlds ever put to CD. Finely recorded segments of the multi-species gatherings around waterholes, including insects, beetles, lions and elephants, create a matrix within which the songs and stories of the local bipedal hairless apes are given their true context. Throughout the disc, Dunn explores the patterns of the sacred that remain interwoven in the songs emanting from the water’s edge, children at school, and an Apostolic Church. Listeners who enjoyed Stephen Feld’s Voices of the Rainforest will find this to be very akin, yet more accessible, in that the human segments feature the sort of African choruses that have formed a ready niche in our psyches.
Dunn’s choices of sounds are consistently engaging on several levels, and perceptive in their details. During a night sounds segment, his notes direct our attention to the tell-tale bubbling from a pump, now essential to wildlife survival in shrunken ranges; another cut is recorded on the fringe of a village in the evening, at the interface of the sounds of the wild and the human, and is the length of the average time between passage of vehicles on the nearby road. This is nature sound recording at its best, rightfully incorporating humans, and consistently evoking the Great Conversation within which each species finds its voice. At the same time, and most impressively, Dunn illuminates what he calls "the persistence of spirit" of this place without a trace of sentimentality or idealization.
[See link to left for David Dunn's full album and track notes for this release, especially if you're purchasing the MP3 version.]