The Foghorn's Lament - The Disappearing Music of the Coast
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Om The Foghorn's Lament
'A truly unusual and strangely revealing lens through which to view music and history and the dark life of the sea' Brian Eno 'As memorable, pleasurable and irrational as all the highest quests' John Higgs What does the foghorn sound like? It sounds huge. It rattles. It rattles you. It is a booming, lonely sound echoing into the vastness of the sea. When Jennifer Lucy Allan hears the foghorn's colossal bellow for the first time, it marks the beginning of an obsession and a journey deep into the history of a sound that has carved out the identity and the landscape of coastlines around the world, from Scotland to San Francisco. Within its sound is a maritime history of shipwrecks and lighthouse keepers, the story and science of our industrial past, and urban myths relaying tales of foghorns in speaker stacks, blasting out for coastal raves. Read by the author and featuring excerpts of her field recordings, The Foghorn's Lament is an odyssey told through the people who battled the sea and the sound, who lived with it and loathed it, and one woman's intrepid voyage through the howling loneliness of nature.
A truly unusual and strangely revealing lens through which to view music and history and the dark life of the sea Now that so many things can be - and are - recorded, I had forgotten that sound could also become extinct. The massive melancholic sound of the foghorn - the sound of safety and loss - is one of these and this colorful and detailed requiem tells the many interlocking stories of people who love it and try to preserve it. This has become one of my favorite books The Foghorn's Lament is as memorable, pleasurable and irrational as all the highest quests. It's a deep, landscape defying blast of love and enthusiasm for place, emotion and the very human mystery that connects them both A wonderful way to get up close and very personal with the foghorn - a perfect example of the power and beauty of industrial music In writing that is both lyrical and precise Jennifer Lucy Allan maps the mysterious space where legend, technology, maritime history and pop culture meet. A book as layered and rich as that lonely sound You can taste the sea salt reading this Original and absorbing. . . this kind of obsession is transporting, there is escape to be found in getting lost in a subject. The book is a lament for a disappearing way of life - numbers of former lighthouse keepers diminish each year - but also an appeal to listen deeply. It shows how there can be "a whole world to discover in just one sound" Alluring, haunting... [The Foghorn's Lament] examines the music, history and the dark life of the sea through the foghorn, a nostalgic link to our industrial past. It all coalesces to form a wonderfully original maritime journey that's both a contemplation on Britain's wildest coastal reaches and a reminder of how deeply sound and imagination shape our sense of place.