Yesterday when having breakfast I got torn out of my slumbering existence by a penetrating noise I knew so well. O my god, my first thought, the chainsaw season has begun. Soon, chainsaws will sing their song of the sirens from every house on the climbing rows of the natural amphitheater. Of this, near to the sea, I occupy the northern seat, some twenty meters above sea-level. The southern seat, to get the picture right, is on top of Monte Poro, a big bulk of granite that rises right out of the waves in a hypothenusal sense, and bows of into flat land at the top, a seven hundred meters closer to the sky. From there to me lies a gentle shaped curve covered by trees, where between linger a serpentine road and on that road, villa’s with a view, a garden and a chainsaw in the garage.
When I lived in Berlin I was attacked by deconstructionist noises all the time, most of them produced by a pneumatic hammer. In the courtyard of one carré of apartments the complete outer layer of concrete and paint got redone. Three seasons long my first look out of the window encountered scaffolding. But after my view was cleared, life shone bright in a lemon curd color. In the courtyard of yet another block of houses, soon after I had moved in, work started on a small abandoned factory, while at the meantime isolation works in the basement started. Every morning I woke up to a live cover version of early Einstürzende Neubauten songs, Blixa’s voice replaced by a rotor blade that cut through stone.
I know that field recorders and sound artists do the best they can to make our environment more listenable. In their quest they are assisted by architects, scientists, designers, urban planners, cultural theorists and by political and religious leaders world-wide. To have disturbing sounds peeled off of the skin of our existence and use dark matter for this purpose, as their charming colleagues at CERN in Geneva suggested, is a workable, but, still, theoretic solution. Works at a sound proof cocoon, a hybrid of tent and boiler suit, are in an advanced stadium. Instead of choosing a more critical approach and go out to actually record the chainsaw noises for acoustic ecology’s sake, I decided to wait.
Half an hour past noon, when my hopes had vanished that the chainsaw man would take a break for lunch, I decided to go for a walk. I encountered a friendly older man who just came back from the beach. He could tell me that the work would go on all day. There were too many wild growing bushes. We shook hands and the noises stopped. Not much later I heard the comforting crackle of burning wood mingle with the lazy rhythm of the waves washing ashore. At the end of day big fumes covered the terrace. The work was done and the wood was burned. I went out for a longer walk, up to an old ruin of a farmer’s house. I entered the garden and spotted the mimosa at the far end. The trees were covered by a very vague shade of yellow.