Mark Vernon – Things That Were Missed in the Clamour for Calm (3Leaves)

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Sri Lanka stripped bare by her suitor, Mark Vernon, during his six-week residency at the Sura Madura arts centre in Hikkaduwa, on the southwest coast of the island. A near-hour of field recordings gently blended, for us listeners Things That Were Missed in the Clamour for Calm may be more a dream of the place, especially when the sounds become amorphous, unidentifiable, or more of a gesture on Vernon´s behalf, a thing that didn´t really happen but that the place evoked in him. (Recommended accompanying reading: Michael Ondaatje´s magic-realist family memoir, Running in the Family.

Numerous heatstroke hazes recur, overwhelming more corporeal street scenes and jungle floor hubbub, choked with lyrical sellers, busy buyers and tuk-tuk fumes, amphetamine frog croaking, barbiturate cricket chirping, a brief drum tattoo that is actually raindrops on a tin roof (or not), local radio, typewriter clack, workshop filing and welding, children´s music lessons, religious processions and off in the distance, that all-important colonial railway. Finally, the sea laps at our toes.

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Stephen Fruitman

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About Author

Born and raised in Toronto, Stephen Fruitman has been living in northern Sweden lo these past thirty years. Writing and lecturing about art and culture as an historian of ideas since the early nineties, his articles have appeared in an number of international publications. He is also a contributing editor at Igloo Magazine.

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