Lithuanian sound artist Darius Ciuta has had a consistent output of work since the 90’s making him an essential figure for the region. He started out concentrating on using noise and electronic based sound and has slow shifted to working with field recordings in recent years. He also works professionally as an architect, which logically extends his interest in sound and space. Darius was kind enough to reflect on a particular situation while recording.
Can you recall any stories/experiences of visiting unique spaces or places in the Baltics while making field recordings?
Two years ago I was recording grasshoppers in Juodkrante (that ended up in what is now called L-L-L) and because of all the city noise I had to do that at night. Close to one of the main sound sources (electric transformer) there also was a parking-lot. Around 2 am I was walking by the transformer, recording grasshoppers and I often got close to a fancy Porsche. Suddenly I felt a look and heard an angry question: „What are you doing here?“ I had to press „pause“ and explain myself. I said that I was recording grasshoppers and I was not trying to steal the Porsche, so the guy asked me to give him to listen to the recording. Afterwards the angry Lithuanian took off the headphones and said: „You‘re fooling me, I can‘t hear anything“. I had to explain to him again that he can‘t hear anything because he‘s only listening to a sound-space that he‘s in now.
How do the sounds of the seasons and environments in the Baltics affect how you think about sound?
They affect it strongly. One of the most interesting sound situations is the change of temperature, the strength of the wind, and the light. For example, I believe that many people are familiar with the silence before the storm and the calmness after a heavy rain.