Robert Curgenven's Sirène: Selected Pipe Organ Works 1983–2014 (LP, out on Recorded Fields) is reviewed by Brian Morton in The Wire 367.
The video – which features the second half of his "Ressuscitant de l'étreinte de la Sirène" composition from Sirène – was filmed and edited by Robert Curgenven, and
Curgenven writes: "This was filmed on the lunette of Lake Mungo, an ancient lake bed in Australia's New South Wales, 1000 kilometers from the coast and home to the Barkindji, Nyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi peoples. It is also the site of the oldest human remains in the world to be ritually cremated and the oldest human remains found outside of Africa – both estimated to be 42,000 years old. Evidence exists to show the area has been inhabited for 50,000 years.
This video acts as a bridge between the themes of migration and settler colonialism explored in Sirène and another forthcoming 12", They Tore The Earth And, Like A Scar, It Swallowed Them comprising footage shot at a series of locations across the Australian continent.
While Sirène is recorded entirely on the UK's Cornish peninsula – the original home of my grandfather's grandfather who emigrated to Australia in the 19th century – They Tore The Earth... charts the story of settler colonialism, where a land is discovered and assumed to be empty, the colonising nation arrives and settles toward the interior, breaking the relationship the traditional, indigenous people have to the land. In place of that is created a new, more destructive and exploitative relationship.
This short film is also intended to provide a visual bridge between the maritime realms of Sirène's Cornish coastline to the ancient, weathered desert vistas of Australia's rugged interior."
With thanks to Kathleen McDowall and Andy Goodman.