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Sounds from the Cradle of Humankind

unnamedToday we’re heading back to South Africa, to explore with Oxford-based sound artist Gary JC. He sent back this correspondence to accompany his reimagined rural sounds:

“These were recordings made during a stay as Artist in Residence at Nirox Farm which is part of The Cradle of Humankind in South Africa. It is a Unesco Heritage site where many of the oldest hominid fossils have been discovered. The area itself is mainly bushveld scattered with rock outcrops from the huge network of caves beneath – with occasional remnants of abandoned archaeological digs. Very beautiful.

“The first sound is a short recording taken out in the bushveld. Despite the remote location, it was difficult to find a point where the faint sound of aircraft, distant traffic, or some sort of work could not be heard. A reminder perhaps that we have entered the Anthropocene.

“The second sound is my rework of this. I chose not to turn it into something musical. Rather, I layered the recording with two other recordings taken from my stay there. These are both recordings of me walking across the farm’s manicured gardens. Walking where our ancestors walked over 2 million years ago.”

City version:

Memory version: