(Play to listen. 3:49 minutes)
Vermillion Million is an audio composition created from many stereo recordings I made in and around Lake Vermillion in northern Minnesota. It knits together sounds from the natural world, water lapping on a shoreline or a loon call, that many of us react to physically without even a conscious thought. We respond to sounds in wild places, I believe, because it has been folded into our DNA over thousands of generations. We are all directly “wired” to the sounds in nature. I created this sound poem as a memorial to a dear friend who taught me to cherish the great outdoors. Try listening to this piece with headphones.
Jeff Sylvestre is an audio engineer, composer, sound designer. He has been curious about and exploring the relationships between music, sound and the natural world for over 40 years. He runs Blue Moon Audio in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Keep listening! Agate is developing a new section of the magazine devoted to audio. Called Sound≈Nature, it will include readings of essays and poetry, produced stories and interviews on environmental themes, as well as compositions featuring recordings of natural sounds. Natural sounds compositions on Sound≈Nature will be curated by Jeff Sylvestre, reaching out to his fellow audio engineers from around the region. He’s starting us off by sharing one of his own here. Thanks, Jeff!
Find more stunning images by Minnesota photographer Jim Gindorff.