“3 Mountains” is a pleasant, quiet joy – it does not jump up in my face and scream – it pays homage to the three peaks of Monte do Colcurinho, The Serra da Lousã & Serra da Estrela, which is the highest mountain in mainland Portugal, at a height of 1993 meters.
The 13 tracks present in this work constitute the basis of 3 Mountains. Monte do Colcurinho, is located at 1244 meters of altitude, being the highest point of the county of Oliveira do Hospital. The Serra da Lousã has in Trevim its highest point, with 1205 meters. Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain in mainland Portugal, with the highest point in the Tower, at a height of 1993 meters.
In this sound work, based on field recordings, the pieces mirror some of the acoustic heritage of these framed Portuguese mountain areas. The sound cartography present in “3 Mountains …. reflects the natural and social dimensions of these places” according to the author, but what do I make to it?
Well, as mentioned, there is a quiet joy and beauty in the active listening of a good field recording album – and this is a good body of field recordings. At Monte do Colcurinho, one can hear the brute force of the existing eolian monsters, driven by the strong wind that is constantly felt there – the wind hammers the turbines and everything reverberates.
In the Serra da Lousã, Luis Antero immersed ourselves in the acoustic heritage of the Talasnal, Vaqueirinho and Cerdeira shist villages. In Serra da Estrela, we heard the strong wind on the way to Covão da Ponte, the dishes of the cattle of Manuel ‘Balote’, and, in Casais de Folgosinho, we once again recorded the herd of the sheperd/actor Hermínio.
As a bystander – it is easy to be lulled in to a sense of timelessness with “3 Mountains.” As sturdy as their peaks, this is a strong body of work. I am an amateur field recordist and I have not got a clue how Antero did not get wind rumble on these recordings.
From the shouts of a shepherd to the sounding of the breeze through the eolian turbines. The weather at the top of these peaks seems almost British – there seems to be a lot of breeze and a lot of rain – but the way that these recordings are framed and executed mean that “3 Mountains” is another stand out release on the Sonospace label.