HRSI · a sonic travelogue

HRSI is a collection of unprocessed field recordings, a phonographic travelogue of sorts from Croatia and Slovenia made in June 2019.

*Bandcamp download purchase includes 14 page PDF booklet of my black&white photography from Croatia and Slovenia

Notes: In my 25+ years of working with sound and making ‘field recordings’, I have yet to release such a collection. While the idea crossed my mind several times, something about this trip inspired me to actually do so. Perhaps it was due to the simple fact that this was purely and unashamedly a tourist holiday trip, one of the few I have made in my lifetime, free from any inherent artistic production or presentation purposes. So one might also consider this collection free from any overt concepts other than to listen along and experience these sounds as a sonic tourist. As is evident here, the impossibility for me to not explore hidden corners of places to gather sonic fragments and images while traveling has always made me a rather ‘bad’ tourist. I often blatantly ignore the usual ‘historical landmarks’ in search of perceptual artifacts living beyond the radar of idealized visions of places conjured up in the colonialist bliss of industrialized tourism. While I found myself embedded in this scenario, there were always moments to drift beyond the boundaries to have a deeper listen. As is often the case, those who shift their attention toward a more terrestrial existence will certainly be rewarded with the intricacy of connectedness (however challenging this may be these days). 

HRSI was shaped out of a pool of 40 recordings that mainly embody everyday environments inhabited by other tourists as well as local citizens. Among the mountain paths and towns I found myself particularly drawn to water as it has been a subject of research lately regarding scarcity and control as an essential natural resource. Water also acts here as natural ‘noise’ source, a sonic counterpoint to the quietude found in many of the more remote locations. I have also included some shorter ‘outtake’ fragments for wider context. The tracks are more or less arranged in chronological order in which they were recorded. Some recordings were made binaurally to better highlight the presence of place and are indicated so. 

As for the region, it does have some familiarity and historical significance for me. In 1999 and 2000 I lived in Slovenia and traveled regularly to Croatia. One such trip involved finding the birthplace and childhood home of my grandfather Carlo Gržini? in Istria before he emigrated to America in 1924. It is in his memory I dedicate this album. I should thank Marko Košnik and Urška Škerl for hosting and organizing some aspects of the trip and to my family for their enduring patience for my random disappearing acts.

Recorded and mastered by John Grzinich, June 2019

ancient gate in Pernat croatia
unique passage into…

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