from THE WIRE, October 2005

>> In June 1993, soundscape artist Michael Rüsenberg and cameraman Uli Sigg spent ten days recording daily life in Lisbon for a radio documentary co-authered by Hans-Ulrich Werner, subsequently released as the CD Lisboa: A Soundscape Portrait. The opening piece on this DVD, Werner´s >>"MetaSon Lisboa", returns to the same material, incorporating Sigg´s video footage for the first time in an evocative blend of sounds and sights that will be familiar tdo anyone who knows the Portuguese capital (or who´s seen Wim Wenders´Lisbon Story), from clanging tram bells to street vendors to te planes that fly perilously low above the city on the approach to the international airport.

There´s a kind of Wenders-like saudade to Carlos Alberto Augusto´s >>"Cine Lisboa", which mixes Paulo Soares´ guitar with church bells, insects, birdsong, locals playing dominoes and coffee spoons tinkling in dimly lit cafes. It´s a montage of Lisbon soundmarks worthy of R Murray Schafer, whose "Coimbra Vibra!", a ´sonification of Portugal´s venerable university city, Augusto helped organise in 2003.

Rüsenberg´s own work combines field recordings with composed elements, and his >>"Dr Mussert´s Landing" is a mini Hörspiel whose text is accompanied by percussion, chorus and a montage of rather menacing clanks and squeaks recorded on a jetty on river Tagus in the seedy dockland zone of Cais do Sodré.

Accompanying an exquisite series of slowly dissolving photographs of the city´s facades, Carlos Zingaro´s >>"Storia Intramuri-Walls" is a dense electroacoustic collage for transformed field recordings and snippets of his violin playing that explores the same territory as his Sir releases Cage of Sand and Permute.

Zingaro also appears briefly in Sigg´s video footage on "MetaSon Lisboa", and plays the Satie-esque line running through Christoph Korn´s >>"Stern", the album´s moving centrepiece. Simply harmonised and delicately scored for strings, he melody was transcribed from recordings of a blind street musician playling a melodica on a street corner not far from the Praca De Comercio. The last time I was in Lisbon he was still there. And still playing the same tune.

Dan Warburton