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In October 2011 Leah Barclay was invited to participate in the 6th Annual Mamori Sound Project, a residency for composers and sound artists on Mamori Lake, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. The expedition is designed as an intensive immersion into the sonic environments of the rainforest with a focus on creative field recording and the exploration of natural sound environments.

The Amazon Jungle, commonly referred to as the lungs of the world, is the largest and most bio-diverse rainforest on earth. The ecosystem of Mamori Lake is a lowland tropical rainforest with lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. The rich diversity of insects and birdlife provide a constant soundscape, while the Amazon river dolphins and elusive howler monkeys add rich layers to this captivating sonic environment.

“I was particularly interested in recording the Amazon river dolphin, a creature with sophisticated echolocation that navigates the dark waters of the river with sound. This experience alone would be one of my most memorable recording sessions, sitting in small boats in the middle of the night with hydrophones draped over the edge listening intently to the enthralling soundscape of dolphins deep below. I distinctly remember sliding my headphones off and being just as captivated by the soundscape above the water; sparse silence broken by dolphins breaching and blowing water. This field recording, and many more from the trip, is a perfectly orchestrated sonic experience, a sophisticated composition from the natural environment.”

Mamori Lake installation and performance draws on six field recordings from above and below the water at Mamori Lake. This work is the first in a series of Amazon inspired compositions for an 8-channel immersive installation that will premiere in October 2013. Mamori Lake was first performed during the “MuTech Underground Series: Experiences in Acoustic Ecology” in March 2012 in the Basil Jones Orchestra Hall at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia.

Listen to the preview of Mamori Lake